Saturday, September 07, 2013

Petaluma: Last Baba Yaga Birdhouse Workshop of 2013

Baba Yaga BirdHouse

Well this class has been a hoot (get it...like an owl..).  Now is your last chance to take it before I retire it for the year.    Sept. 25-26th is the date at Art is You Petaluma.   It should be fun fun.  So here's the Baba Yaga Birdhouse 

Student Work
To give you an idea of what other students have done in the class...take a peeky:





In Case You Don't Know Who Baba Yaga is...
This is from a blog post I did a while back...it will give you the whole skinny.
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 lady...house 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 way...is how she keeps an eye on you.

  
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.  
or  
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 soup...you might say you've already eaten.

2 comments:

Samantha Marshall said...

Great post-I love this theme.The house looks amazing!!!

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