For my final Performance Costume MFA project I chose to explore the world of folkloric stories and traditions. To be a costume designer is ultimately to be a storyteller, and so to me, looking back at these ancient stories is not only to examine the origins of modern performance, but also explore the roots of our modern belief systems. The U.K. is still rich in folkloric traditions, stories of kelpies, giants and fairies are still told around many campfires, as well as splashed through Hollywood films, and although the creatures may be mythical, each tells us something about our ancestors as well as ourselves.
"The uses of folklore are many and it is often used with intent. Its stories can underpin a sense of identity and belonging and reinforce the ideas people hold about themselves. It can be used as a cultural ‘weapon’, wielded against rival groups to prove they are wrong, inferior or illegitimate. Folklore is alive and impossible to pin down, and can be dangerous. It presents people with a mirror to their own face, and can reveal the darker, more primal side of life. It is, after all, a thing written in the wind and the rushing waters."
A Treasury of British Folklore by Dee Dee Chainey