“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again,” so reads the quote from C.S. Lewis which Cica has selected for her latest installation, Fairy Tale, which opened on August 29th, 2017. It’s part of a dedication he gave to his God-daughter after writing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. While Cica assures me she wasn’t aware of the full dedication when picking the quote, it is nevertheless the most salient part of Lewis’ comment – and fits this installation perfectly.
Across an undulating landscape, columns of rocks stack their way into the sky, vying with denuded trees and the surrounding hills for height. Only one of the hills is topped in grass – the rest of the land appears hard and dry. Reached by a set of steps formed by more rocks, it is home to a little red house sitting in a tiny garden. A plethora of cats occupy the house, most taken by the bed sitting towards one end of the single room, although one is attentive to the young woman who also stands inside the house.
The hill looks across the region, over the stacks of rocks, the trees and a group of standing stones to where three dragons proudly sit, surveying the world around them. One, perched high on a shelf of rock, is winged. “He’s the male,” Cica told me as we chatted about the build. “The other two without wings are female.”
One of the latter seems to have wandered a little from her nest, where patterned eggs awaiting hatching. another nest lies in a hollow of the ground a little further away. The second female offers a clue to the shell-like objects also scattered across the landscape. She is sitting on top of one, as if claiming it. “The dragons use the shells as caves,” Cica said. “They live in them!”
Scattered throughout the setting are sitting points, some with the addition of dances and other animations. Check the tops of some of the rock stacks and the little – but tall – island lying just off-shore as well in order to find them. All offer views out over this region and the opportunity to cam around or take photos.
Fairy Tale is another whimsical installation from Cica. It is also a curio: just what do we make of it as we travel through it? What should we make of the dragons’ use of giant shells, and what of the original occupants of the shells? Where does the woman and her cats in the house fit within all this?
The clue to these and other questions lies best in the quote from C.S. Lewis: we are all enthralled with tales that give flight for the imagination, but somewhere along life’s path, we often lose the will to use our imaginations as fully as we might. Fairy Tale is perhaps presents a chance to recapture that willingness, to let out imaginations roams across this landscape as freely as our feet, and let imagination fill-in the blanks of the story.
- Fairy Tale (Seth Island, rated: Moderate)