A collection and comic book inspired by the 19th century poem ‘Goblin Market’ by Christina Rossetti.
I first encountered Rossetti’s poem as an English literature undergraduate and was shocked and enthralled by its graphic suggestive imagery, pacy engaging narrative and the challenges it offered to traditional tales of damsels in distress. I have never seen Laura and Lizzie as individuals but as representations of two sides of the Victorian feminine psyche, which still linger in our figuring of contemporary womanhood. I saw myself in the girls, as I am sure Rossetti intended. The poem stayed with me- within me- and when I began to train as an artist I knew I would at some point attempt a tribute to Goblin Market.
I present ‘The Goblin Market’ in comic-book form to capture the sense of page turning pace and excitement and also because it is a medium that speaks to young people as they emerge into adulthood which is a theme interwoven in the many meanings of this text. My work is about the precarious balance between order and chaos and I see a duality there between the technical control of fine art and the immediacy of a hastily scribbled cartoon.
I hope to inspire newcomers to the poem with the same excitement and interest that I felt upon first encountering it and to offer those who know and love the piece my humble interpretation of a poem I just can’t get out of my head.