Through this project I was given the opportunity to explore more deeply Slavic Folklore and especially Ukrainian. My research started with slavic mermaids (Rusalka). In Slavic Folklore mermaid is a drowned woman which rushed into a water to make a suicide, because she was betrayed by her love. After death she gets rebirth as a mermaid. When she becomes a mermaid, they fascinating young boys and luring them into a water to make a revenge. Usually they inhabit near swamps or rivers in the forest.
The Forest Song by Lesya Ukrainka inspired me to choose Ukrainian Forest mermaids – Mavka’s. In age old myths they are evil creatures from the afterworld. Mavka looks like beautiful woman in front, but on the back they don’t have skin… On the other hand, in poetry or in fairy tale’s authors trying to romanticize them and in their works we can see Mavka as a Forest Guardian which trying to protect nature. Forest princess, Forest Nymph.
In my project “Forest Song” you can see two sides of Mavka’s. Two sisters that belongs to different worlds.
It was valuable experience to work with the photographer outdoors. Our aim was to show the character’s nature through the pictures. First I wanted to fully represent characters from legends and fairy tales, but with the models and photographers help we made something new. My characters on the photos become gorgeous and beautiful. Good side of Mavka instead of behave like a cute girl, became a true forest princess. Bad side of Mavka instead of being scary creature became a forest queen which hides a secrets under the cloak. We were working as a one great team. Thanks to photographer advice, we managed to create stunning photos together.