The Storyteller by Cornelia Hernes

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Cornelia Hernes

The Storyteller


165.1 x 114.3 x [*] cm | 65 x 45 in

Chalk and charcoal on paper

  • Second Place ($1,000 Cash Award) / Drawing

Exhibited at the MEAM

Exhibited at Salmagundi

The Storyteller is a part of a recent body of work portraying a selection of characters from the Italian theatre tradition of Commedia dell’arte. I am intrigued by the timeless and cross-cultural ritual of disguise and role-play as a means to explore different aspects of life. Storytelling presents an arena in which we can expand our minds and explore our emotions. In the context of theatre, the storyteller sets the mood of the stage and introduces the premise of the story for the actors to carry out. The Storyteller further represents someone who through concealing her own identity can freely mediate a message beyond herself. The function of the mask in this case is therefore not to hide, but rather to reveal other perspectives. Symbolically, the mask alludes to how we assume different roles. We each naturally bring out a selection of the many facets of who we are in different contexts in life. The Storyteller reminds us that a person is so much more than we can actually see.” – Cornelia Hernes