Woodlands Exhibition - The making of the Witches
In May I was invited by the Incube8r Gallery in Fitzroy to be a part of their upcoming 'Woodlands' themed group show. I have spent the last couple of months working on two Witch art dolls and a sculpted tree filled with ‘tiny wonders’
I had first encountered the wild witch in 2015 during a visionary experience at a cacao ceremony – I wrote in my journal
“Cacao is faerie nectar, the Wild Witch, she has stories to tell you, she is wild, sensual, mossy and alive. Roots, bark, wild hair, mushrooms and mossy skin. She is both seductive and scary. She wears a beautiful collage textile outfit, like a gypsy woman.”
Two drawings follow. One was my first concept scribble of the Wild Witch, as I drew her she began to evolve. At first meeting I thought she was gathering moss and mushrooms from the forest but now I realise that she is the moss and mushrooms, that she is the forest magik.
The second sketch is away to showcase the miniature sculptures or 'Tiny Wonders' i like to create. I decided on a central larger tree type base to hang everyone upon and around.
I started off with three different armatures. For these sculptures i was working with new clays, techniques and materials so i thought that if I made a few different witches if one of the materials didnt work out so well i would have back ups.
The main tree sculpt was made with simple paper mache around a cardboard cylinder so fairy lights could be rigged up, the trees face was sculpted in paper clay and fallen sticks from the garden were attached with paper clay and more mache.
In divine alignment a tree in the front yard developed some gorgeous 'shroom ledges to inspire the sculpt
The top face was sculpted with paper clay - i had never worked with it before and it was tricky so i'm glad i had those two extra armatures on stand by - gold stars for thinking ahead :)
The next two different faces were sculpted with Polymer clay and two different types of glass eyes and hands were sculpted with a two-part epoxy clay onto mossy sticks from the garden for one witch and polymer clay for the other. I experimented with watercolours and acrylics on all the faces.
I shared these progress shots over in social media land and someone on the Facebook page left a comment saying 'scary' to this black eyed witch, who, to me, was beginning to resemble more of a fae creature. Now i don't imagine my creations are for everyone but i did feel a bit hurt by the bad vibes from a stranger, so i sat with 'scary' as i finished working on the three faces and the fae began to whisper to me of memories of being labelled scary myself, witches and faeries can frighten the muggles, they spoke to me of wildness, of not hiding myself to appease the masses, to conform, or any of that crap, we are done with that, the whispered of creation. This space of Faery that i inhabit can be scary, the fae can be scary, they shock us out of complacency, out of our heads and bullshit and veils, it's not all squee and rainbows in Faery, they are confronting and magik and transformative and love. So with a renewed heArt i tucked "scary' into the folds of the witches dress.
Our old clothes were upcycled to make the costumes, all hand stitched with love.
Hair was woven with wool fibres some spun and some unpun fibres.
Little details include a recycled walnut basket perfect for holding mushrooms for one witch and magikal little trinkets for spells hanging upon the other witch.
In the end i loved two of the witches so much i couldn't decide which one to include in the exhibition and thank fully the curator said i could include both.
Meet the Enchanted Woodlands Witch
And the Amanita Woodlands Witch
Some detail pics of the finished Witches, I'll share some full length Pics after opening night