Implications of a Fairytale Childhood

A series of etchings by Australian artist Christine Porter, using a variety of printmaking media  that explore the way the lessons, ideas and “truths” in childhood stories inform our adult understanding of the world. image: ‘What would the little red hen do?’ 2012 colour etching 7×6.8cm

artist statement

Last month, while visiting my mother, my bedtime read was from the bookshelves of my childhood. I was astonished to find myself recognising immediately the characters, plot lines and indeed the nuances in books I couldn’t have even named a week before. I wondered how had these and other stories informed my adult world?  Did the indoctrination work?  Have they made me a “better” person? Has my understanding of “right and wrong” been stained rather than just coloured by the culture imparted by those narratives already archaic when I first read them forty years ago?
What happens to a culture when the next generation is weaned on stories of violence, anger and disrespect.
The widespread use of fairy stories in the enculturation of generations, is evidenced in the way appropriations of those very stories litter our screens, monitors and bookshelves. Fairy-tale characters and narratives exist in the public domain all the while being a vehicle for our own personal narrative/s.  Christine Porter Lismore 2012

available artwork

Please note that the colour on your screen may not match the actual artwork. Etchings available framed, or unframed. Prices: from $60 unframed up to $240 framed. To purchase or for more information:contact us by phone or email. Some from this series may be exhibited in galleries listed below.

fly-away-peter-2014-multiplate-colour-etching-and-embossing-page-size-30x10cmFly away Peter, fly away Paul 2014
multi-plate colour etching with embossing 30x15cm
edition size – unique
none available
This work was created as part of the Bimblebox 153 Birds project that was a protest about the loss of habitat of the Bimblebox Nature reserve in central Qld. This image is of the bird that was shown as part of the Bimblebox exhibition. Irony prevailed though: This particular bird , the Red-Capped Robin isn’t endangered. It’s found all across Australia. However, the act of chipping away at one habitat then another will eventually place it in jeopardy. I could normally edition a soft-ground etching such as this up to about 50, but the image took so many proofs to sort it, that before I knew it there was enough for only a few. How beautifully ironic. I wish I could tell the story to the people who want to mine this small forest in Qld. Tell them how it’s not just the endangered birds we need to look after, but all birds.

I’ve printed a small edition, just of the bird, that depends more on my ability to ink and wipe than it does to the etched marks.
full title “Fly away Peter, Fly away Paul, your house is on fire, your children are gone”
exhibited: various galleries around Qld as part of Bimblebox 153 birds, 
 2014 Winner Blackall  $500
artist statement: This etching, created using techniques that reference old-fashioned children’s book illustrations, blends two such rhymes: ‘two little dicky birds’ and ‘ladybird ladybird, fly away home’.In the original poem, Peter, and Paul, errant robins (red-capped robins?) do in fact come fluttering back. Happy ending. The “lady birds” were Catholic nuns, daughters of Our Lady fleeing, often unsuccessfully, the burning and persecution of their spiritual homes. This etching juxtaposes the grisly horror of the second while couching it in the benign silliness of the first. It is a story about Queensland today, specifically the Bimblebox Nature Reserve. Peter, Paul, and all the other little dicky birds in the path of the marauding giant of mining and false economy, that threaten so many environmentally sensitive areas, can indeed flutter out of the way of the machines. Sort of. But even if they do escape with their lives, what happens if they return. Their homes are all burnt and their children all gone? The answer is on the last page of every bedtime story we know. It is … the end.
Christine Porter 2014 


'Red Shoes' 2012 multi-plate colour etching 7x7cm

the red shoes  2012
multi-plate colour etching 7 x 7cm
edition size 90
limited availability
2013 Champion painting – Best in Show Tintenbar Art Show
2013 2nd Miniature Blackall Heartland Exhibition
2012 Inverell Art Society Competition 2nd miniature section
2012 Mackay Art Society 1st miniature section. Acquired Dowden’s Group
Gundy ?



little-red-hen-2012-colour-etching-7x6-8cmchristine-porterwhat would the little red hen do? 2012
multi-plate colour etching 7 x 6.8cm
edition size 90
good availability





when-in-doubt-sweep-faster-2012-drypoint-7x7cmchristine-porterwhen in doubt, sweep faster  2012
drypoint 7 x 7cm
edition size 90
good availability





you-can-only-harvest-whats-in-front-of-you-2012colour-etching-5-5x5-5cm-christine-porteryou can only harvest what is in front of you 2012
solar plate colour etching 5.5 x 5.5 cm
edition size 50
good availability





whos-to-know-if-its-the-right-gate-2012-solar-plate-colour-etching-5-9x5-4cm-christine-porterwho’s to know if it’s the right gate 2012
solar plate colour etching 6 x 5.4 cm
edition size 50
good availability






who’s to know if it’s the right path  2012
solar plate colour etching 6 x 6cm
edition size 50
limited availabilty





copyright reminder

Copyright of all content on this website is owned by the artist. This means that copying and transmitting individual images in any form is prohibited by law. If you see an  image and would like it in a larger format please contact us. If you see any of these images used inappropriately elsewhere, please let us know.