Stefanie Reichelt  photography and prints
Snow Queen - Fragments

The Frozen Ideal

Just as we see our image reflected in a mirror, we see our ideal reflected in the eyes of others.
The broken mirror that invites us into the story in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale ‘The Snow Queen’ represents our fragmented ideal splintered like grains of sand in our eyes and those of others.

The enchanting ideal, large and beautiful like a perfect snowflake, is visible for a moment, but is ultimately ephemeral, melting softly in the sun. Thus marching time strikes unawares when things are going well and crashes the ideal. The impossibility of sustaining the ideal shoots pain in our wounded heart. Large splinters get lodged in the heart freezing it into a cold, hard block of ice.

The good turns into bad and the ideal now turns into a persecutor, an enemy. The world with all its inhabitants and everything it carries looks ugly. Its values and ideas become suspicious. Cynicism replaces imagination and the dissatisfying world deserves to be mocked and questioned, but we lose bits of ourselves in this inglorious process. What price do we have to pay, what sacrifice do we have to make to restore the self that has been lost? Are we willing to give up what is most precious to us to regain it? These are questions that have no easy answers.

For these portraits of the 'SNOW QUEEN' I formed a mirror of ice in a complicated process of freezing and thawing so that small bubbles and inclusions remain within the ice. The thicker outer 'frame' was formed by serendipity, while the inner centre part stayed almost transparent.

The SNOW QUEEN portraits were turned into touch-sensitive interactive displays using conductive ink printing technology (Novalia). On touch the snow queen's heart beat starts. (vimeo.com/77929357)

Cover image of fLIP Magazine ' July 2013: www.londonphotography.org.uk/magazine/flip25-incidental/
Portraits are available as A2 archival prints or A3 Acrylic blocks.