Sarah Gentile

Artist Biography

I have always been enamored with the role of art and storytelling. What I find interesting about art and storytelling is that anyone is welcome to participate in creating art or creating a story. Neither are locked behind a wall of mastery, where the inexperienced are unwelcome. Everyone had to start somewhere, every master was once a beginner, and the more experience one receives the greater their work becomes. The idea of retelling a story so many times that it is almost unrecognizable from the original, has also inspired me to create this thesis. The concepts of retelling a story and years of practice turning a novice into a professional both are founded on the aspect of layers. Different layers to a story, and different layers to an individual. Throughout my journey as an artist, I have transitioned my love of layers from traditional painting, to digital artwork, and now into layers of resin, and my artistic style often involves intricate compositions that feature beautiful women. I find art and storytelling to be two of the most beautiful elements of my life. 

This work A Myriad of Retellings includes five hand painted works on poured resin depicting fairy tales and fables that I grew up reading. Each work involves 12 layers of resin and every layer was painted with acrylic paint. The works include two square 10” x 10”, two rectangular 12.5” x 16.5”, and one 12” x 25” that is rectangular with an arch at the top. The two pieces on the left side are inspired by fairy tales, while the two pieces on the right are inspired by fables. The centerpiece was inspired by both a fable and a fairy tale. In order from left to right the story that inspired the pieces are: The Seven Ravens, Little Red Riding Hood, The Snow Queen and The Deer without a Heart, The Fox and the Grapes, and The Fly and the Moth.

Thesis Abstract

Fables and fairy tales have fairly simple definitions, they also have been retold countless times by authors throughout the centuries and across the world. These short stories teach morals through their depictions of illustrated animals as characters or magical creatures from fantastical worlds. While these stories are retold, the symbols, metaphors, and concepts that were originally included in the story become embellished and occasionally excluded. The retelling of these stories with a focus on symbolism has helped listeners connect to the work and allow a source of inspiration for artists. This thesis, A Myriad of Retellings sought to emphasize the rich symbolism found in fables and fairy tales, showcasing how much inspiration an artist can find within pre-existing stories. Acrylic paint and gold ink were painted on poured layers of epoxy resin. Painting with acrylic on layers of resin embodies the concept of retelling a story with new elements added with each layer. As a result, five 12-layer hand-poured resin paintings were created. The limitations, future directions, and conclusion of this thesis are discussed to examine the use of storytelling in fables and fairy tales, and how infinite retellings can lead to an infinite source of inspiration.