“The Yellow Wall-Paper” is a short story that was written in the late 1800s by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, after she suffered a serious downturn with depression, upon taking a doctor’s advice to engage in the “rest cure” and abandon creative pursuits forever.
Now, more than a hundred years later, this image-rich work has been interpreted by artist Sara Barkat —in a manner that combines both philosophical thought and visual intrigue.
Sometimes understood as feminist literature, sometimes understood as exploring mental illness, and sometimes understood as both at the same time, this story is oddly poetic even when it is chilling and challenging.
The tale contains subtexts that touch upon the nature of Imagination, as well as the act of Writing, and the artist has enhanced these subtexts with the inclusion of Victorian flower symbols, such as thistle for independence and lupine for imagination.
Watch, too, for the appearance of some of history’s most imaginative art, refashioned and in dialog with the story at hand, which gives a sense of timelessness and broader societal import to the tale.