KALAMUNDA artist Mikaela Castledine is preparing for thousands of visitors to view her latest crocheted sculpture at the annual seaside exhibition Sculptures by the Sea.
Ms Castledine said her work, The Princess and the Pea, was part of a series she was working on, prompted by media reports of child abuse and suicide.
“The works all involve a stacked series of crocheted circles representing years which are damaged or distorted in various ways,” she said.
“The use of a fairytale in The Princess and the Pea suggests childhood and the disguised menace of such stories.
“The crocheted discs are distorted by a sphere which they pass over and are shaped by, similar to the way an oyster grows around the pearl.
“The viewer can see that despite the obstacle that shapes the piece it is still beautiful and still whole.”
Ms Castledine said being shaped by adversity was a concept most people could understand.
“Due to our profound abhorrence of crimes against children and our understanding of the long term effects on many people, we have a tendency to believe that a child who has been abused is permanently and irredeemably damaged,” she said.
“This must lead to an overwhelming hopelessness for which suicide may seem the only solution.
“I wanted to make a piece which is intensely beautiful and is damaged, not beautiful because of the damage or beautiful despite the damage, simply beautiful in and of itself.”
Ms Castledine said her work helped her understand the world.
“The Princess and the Pea along with a sister piece called Damage was made in response to stories in the media that I found very distressing,” she said.
“Making works of art helps me to come to terms with my distress and to think about such issues in a way that is bearable.”
Sculptures by the Sea runs from March 3 to 20 at Cottesloe Beach. This year 77 artists are exhibiting from 19 countries.
By Sarah Brookes