Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tam Lin - The Faery Host by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

"Tam Lin - The Faery Host" 
by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
This is a luminous interpretation of a very old and well-told ballad that shows up often with many variations.  It may be one of the most heavily re-told and illustrated ballads in the Western world and the bravado Stephanie shows in talking this topic on is very refreshing. Stephanie includes a deep look into the content of the ballad in her single breath-taking illustration.  Enjoy!
Giclee prints available from her website here
Her Website is a treasure of image & magick!!!

Stephanie also provided some in-process shots of the piece as follows:

If you are unfamiliar with the ballad, here’s a basic synopsis
Summary of Tam Lin : The woods of Carterhaugh are guarded by Tam Lin, a man who demands payment of all maidens who pass through, in the form of a belonging or their virginity. A maiden named Janet travels to Carterhaugh and picks a rose, causing Tam Lin to appear. He questions her presence, to which she relies that Carterhaugh is rightfully hers. She then travels to her father's house where she exhibits the early signs of pregnancy, much to the concern of the household. She states that her lover is Elven, and then returns to Carterhaugh, once again encountering Tam Lin. He reveals he is not elven, but a mortal captured by the queen of Faeries, and that he may be sacrificed to hell as part of the faerie tithe. He then details how she can save him to be her mate, if she will undergo a trial on Halloween night. She must pull him from his horse as the faeries process through the woods, and hold onto him as he is transformed into various beasts, then plunge him into a well when he turns into a brand of fire. When he regains his own naked shape she must cover him with her green mantle and he will be free. She does all of this, much to the anger of the watching Queen of faeries.