Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fairy post #4

Sirens - Oceanides - by Gustave Dore

February Faery events in Victoria:

Melbourne Fairy Tale Ring: 

Sunday afternoon, 1st February
3pm, City Loop, Melbourne. Email Louisa for location.
Mermaids, Selkies, Sea-merrows and other red-caps;
wolves to waterhorses, ghouls to glashtin...
Meet NSW storyteller Jenni Cargill-Strong visiting from The Story Tree Company
& Toby Eccles with Tentelina and the Wolves and a Selkie tale or three.

Mermaid Music: 

Sunday evening, 22nd February 
6:30pm-7:30pm, Prana House, Yoga Temple 885 High St, Thornbury, Melbourne. Book: Homepage    Facebook
The Sustainable Living Festival

Fairy Tale Rings have sprung from the Australian Fairy Tale Society and as one of its hosts, I'm gathering fey ventures to beam here. There's also a blog on the AFTS link above - and a forum.

Midsummer Faerie Rade 2015

Rave Rade Review

by Louisa John-Krol

The Midsummer Faerie Rade 2015 by Golden Owl Events

Hundreds of fairies swarmed the streets and gardens of Melbourne on Sunday 18th January 2015. We spanned all ages and styles of magical personae: sylvan damsels in diaphanous gowns and garlands; elderly mages bearing staves, wiccan women, gallant elf kings guiding their host with pride, a gangle of pirates, a spangle of gypsies, dogs with wings, healers with rainbow dreddies, greenmen, steampunk pixies, goths, toddlers with dino tails - or were they caterpillars? - also giant moths, and a charge of flower fairies in tutus, rainbow wigs & wings, from buffeting fluff to full pelting branches. Other costumery included mirror faces, necromancer capes and peacock feather fantails. I wore a carnival hat and long embroidered silk coat. There were tiaras, leafy crowns, body-hugging lycra with moonboots, and revellers in romanesque togas, touting tattooed tummies. Dancing through streets with us were a side of morris dancers, Brandragon (Northwest Clog Morris). 

After assembling in Treasury Gardens we flocked to the steps of Parliament. We filled them. Pics below: courtesy of Burton Imagery (thanks Andre Burton for permission to beam). 

A Parliament of Fairies - Midsummer Faerie Rade 2015 - above & below by Burton Imagery
Yes, the collective noun is a Parliament of Owls; well it's a Golden Owl Event, so... 
...purple fairy, front row with yellow bubble-wand, told me sweet charitable ideas... 
We frolicked down Bourke St to the old post office, tipping buskers and parading for tourists who leapt into our midst to photograph a Melbourne custom. Next, we slanted through an Arcade - passing one of my favourite witchy stores, Spellcraft - and swept back up the hill, this time on Collins St, trailing our fingers through leaf bespeckled waterfall-walls, peeping at baby birds under benches, jigging with pied pipers, stomping with bell-beribboned dancers, and parting for taxis that our elf-king called “yellow steads”.

Once back in the park, following a picnic and raffle (with donations from Fable Workshop & other magical contributors), we encountered such artistry as Mermaid Music (voices, chimes, table harps), crystal ball juggling from Ruccis, creative cupcakes, hoola hoops and - by my request - fairy storytelling. Roslyn Quin gave us stories of wild whimsy. 
Roslyn Quin, photo by Judith Gray

Treasury Gardens, photo by Judith Gray
I’d recommended Roslyn, having heard her storytelling at The Monash Fairy Tale Salon and Words on the Wind via Storytelling Australia Victoria. Already Faerie Rade royalty, she was a boon for fairy tales.

The photo of Roslyn Quin below will be enlarged with permission & removed if such is requested. It's a superb picture, from Roslyn's Facebook, posted by its photographer Snap Happy Ian.

Roslyn Quin by Snap Happy Ian
Origins of most fantasy characters are stories... from books, dreams, mouths or memories of ancestors, long before cameras, film, internet, video games or mobile phones. What is a fairy without a tale? The shift from oral to visual focus since Shakespeare's time might have reached a feverish pitch; but the dilemma has provenance. Consider Byron’s lines, in praise of the Medici Venus sculpture:

“Away! - there need no words, nor terms precise,
The paltry jargon of the marble mart,
Where pedantry gulls Folly - we have eyes.”
(Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, circa 1812, by Byron)

Wordsworth disagreed, suggesting the sculptor (if not the poet) had turned his back on Venus. Later, the great historian Kenneth Clark took Wordsworth’s side, remarking that Byron wasn’t using his eyes at all and “like most of his class and temperament, had himself been gulled by fashion”. 

In the late 19th century, Yeats hinted at perception beyond seeing:

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
(When you are old, circa 1892, by Yeats)

Perhaps artistic sensibility is an ever-shifting dialectical current? Faeries, Muses, Graces - natural allies of the Arts - spring from an alchemy that defies mortality. As William Blake declared, “Energy is eternal delight”. But what kind of energy? Perhaps both sensual and the heat of philosophic-poetic expression? Somewhere in the middle, Fairy and Tale meet.

Golden Owl Events, especially Olivia, deserve commendation for treating Melbourne to this annual picnic-rade, now spangling to its 5th year. With fairy tales entering the mix, I call upon the storytelling community, folklorists and fantasy authors, to join the next Rade, Sun 17th January 2016.

In keeping with the owl theme, I’ve included in this post (below) two paintings by Australian singer/illustrator Kristine Allan

Boobook Owl print by Kristine Allan
Boobook Owl by Australian singer-illustrator Kristine Allan

Can you spot my unicorn glove puppet, Ever-Sage? Peeping out near my blue wonderland hat. (She's since fallen in with sunflowers in a garden of minstrels, befriended an owl and slapped a lobster by a lava lamp. Faeries!)
Andre of Burton Imagery

Golden Owl Events are viewable on Facebook or their Website
or cybergalleries, such as Burton Imagery & Hummingbird Pictures 
(Log into Client Galleries, Click Mystical Art folder); or by googling Midsummer Faerie Rade, or... coming along!

Fey thanks to Liv, Roslyn & their Raders - Louisa John-Krol

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