Monash University

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Between wishes and fears: a studio investigation of the fairy tale.

posted on 2017-02-28, 00:49 authored by Doolan, Michael John
Fairy tales can cover the entire spectrum of life's ups and downs; they reveal our innermost fears, carry our wishes, teach us lessons and set seemingly unassailable challenges. Over time we forge rich personal relationships with their various protagonists who we welcome into our homes, onto our bookshelves, upon our stages and across our screens. We celebrate and admire their many attributes, mourn their dilemmas, grow to fear their countless adversaries and reflect on their many experiences as a means of understanding the world around us. But how has the fairy tale maintained its relevance today? The research shows the fairy tale has evolved over time from a rich oral tradition disseminated by storytellers who would adapt their tales in order to reflect the social and cultural values of their audience. The thesis demonstrates this unique tradition of renewal by investigating the fairy tale's literary development and exploring the breadth of its enduring incidence in contemporary culture. However, the major area of investigation within this research builds on these findings by questioning the fairy tale's continued relevance on both an individual and social level and examines its viability as a site for artistic interrogation. The major contribution to knowledge of this studio research is to demonstrate the conceptualisation and development of a three dimensional narrative type of fairy tale, by relocating the fairy tale within three-dimensional visual culture, whilst exploring its significance and capacity for renewal outside its established modes of expression.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Dan Wollmering

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Fine Art


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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