The little people have had a tough time – in keeping with legends that highlight their often difficult relationship with humans. In the name of scientific investigation they had to spend a month out in the extremes of weather which we have had since early June. This allowed much time for interesting research into the tales of sightings of fairies/hidden people (“huldra”)/little people and stories of their departure – driven away to the Western Isles, some say by science and others by Christianity. And to think about the Patupaiarehe and Ponaturi here in Aotearoa.
Remarkably the paper mache both coated and unprotected stood up well to all conditions, only needing some time to dry out once I brought them inside again.
For NZ Sculpture onShore a more robust material seemed desirable, though I still like the look and feel of paper for an inside work.
First the modern equivalent of creating their coverings from their environment – plastic – waste bags and packaging – which I melted onto the armatures.
Too cluttered, too literal. Instead I will cover their padded frames with “fabric mache” – just fine cotton strips dipped in PVA, a method I used to coat one of the paper figures – this keeps the final “fairy” light weight but gives them some solidity and will ensure they do not get damaged by “casual interference” (thanks for that phrase Rob Garrett!).