Monday, February 25, 2013

A blast from the past now a workshop for Art is You

Fantastical Fantoccini: Baba Yaga BirdHouse

This is a post from last year.  I thought it was was worth reposting since Ive turned it into a workshop for Art is You Nashville and Petaluma   It should be fun fun.  So here's the Baba Yaga Birdhouse 

Baba Yaga is a witch in slavic folktales.  Sometimes a wise sage, but mostly an evil witch.  She rides in a flying mortar while using her pestle as the rudder.  Her broom is used to brush away her trail.   Here's a comic book version:
art by: Francesco Francavilla
For the most part she is not a nice surrounded by a fence made of bones, capped by skulls.  Cool idea...unless you one of the skulls....
art by Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin
The pretty girl in the above art is not Baba, but the Vasilisa who is sent out to retrieve light fromt the crone...and is taken hostage.  Ultimately, the beautiful girl is set free by Baba Yaga's pets...not very loyal pets, apparently.
Baba Yaga is a hag.  
 I always think of her as the woman in Drag Me to Hell...or
 ..perhaps Sea Hag from Popeye.
The Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's suite Pictures at an Exhibition contains a movement entitled The Hut of Baba Yaga
For me the most interesting thing about her is her house...said to be perched upon chicken legs...or in the Polish version a singular leg, perhaps for mobility.   It seems to me that one leg makes for a bumpy ride.  Two on the other hand...
Art by Yoitisl
It is suspected that this house design was based on an ancient slavic burial structure: 
Art by Nicholas Roerich
On a more contemporary level (though probably not inspired by Baba Yaga) this is from Japan:

Architect Terunobu Fujimori - entitled: Takasugi-an (a teahouse too high).

Now to my version

As usual it is made form various bits and pieces.  

Plastic angel wings, cheap little birdhouse, camera lens...which by the how she keeps an eye on you.

 I was a bit more subtle with the leg...
For some strange reason I tried to keep it a bit more subdued.   
You might see something a bit out of place...
A Virgin Mary above the lens.  
What would that be doing on an old crone's doorway? 
The reason for that was because one of the elements that I find interesting about this character is that she is sometimes bad and sometimes...not as bad.    So when you go to her door...if you were to  see a symbol that embodies the positive...does that mean she will help...or is she merely deceiving the visitor into a false sense of security?  Similar to the candy house in Hansel and Gretel.  
To quote Sir Lawrence Olivier in the Marathon Man:
"Is it safe?"
So...beware the Baba Yaga.  After all, she is sometimes said to be cannibalistic.
 If she offers you a bowl of might say you've already eaten.

1 comment:

Parabolic Muse said...

This is so fascinating. I had no idea about this. Holy moly. Thank you for reposting it. I want to make one!! That lens is brilliant!

Frankly, it kind of freaks me OUT!!!

(didn't you love Drag Me To Hell?)