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Mrs Tielbaard is a multi-disciplinary artist with painting and mixed-media works shown regularly on the international circuit. Recently her diverse practice has extended to include fabrics and textiles in combination with found objects. Here she is sharing her most recent works which consider the empowerment of dress in the context of marriage. Her installation goes beyond the illusion of the fairy tale wedding and examines the possibility of more materialistic, almost sinister, overtones.

Her work considers a narrative between the stereotypical international statesmen and their much younger brides. The men are chasing their lost youth and last hopes to share their fading virility whilst the young girls are chasing the scent of gold an illusion of power. Mrs Tielbaard questions the idea of entrapment these young brides may feel once they are married. Their dreams and hopes are dashed as they realise marriage is an iron hand in a velvet glove forcing their existence into a gilded cage. Their wings of youth and freedom are clipped and restricted only to that which is convenient to the husband. The illusion of love is reduced to just a few symbolic possessions.

The installation itself consists of a free-standing wedding dress with gold cage and crystals; cut feathers represent lost freedoms. All these material things are purely decorative and contain no love. They are mementoes in honour of those women who have dreamed of their “happy ever after” and instead have died to please the ambitions of the world. The fairy tale princess is merely a lost and empty shell; a material girl in a vacuous, cut-throat, and materialistic world. Any power she once dreamed of was an illusion as she is reduced to the status of trophy wife on the arm of a man she purports to love; her naivety robbing her of the understanding of what love really entails.


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