The Banshee plays a special role in the Other Crowd, and usually, she is a benign, if forbidding fairy, in the business of death warnings and the like...
But, as many folk tales from the small rural villages of Ireland can attest, people would do good to remember there is another side to her. Treat her with disrespect or interfere with her duties and she will retaliate.
This is a dark fairy and her pallor is grey. She is made from dried grass and birch with a dried bulb of Queen Anne's Lace as her underskirt, adorned with dead flowers. She is a portal from Man's world at the moment of death to The Other Side.
She may turn her back to you, but do not turn your back to her.
In July, 2017, Coastal Mountain Land Trust donated nearly a hundred slabs of ragged wood to Midcoast Maine artists for them to fashion an art piece from it. (Read more details about that here.) My husband, Justin and I collaborated on this sculpture, a suspended fairy dress, calling it The Banshee.
This art piece is named for the Irish fairy who has grown solitary with sorrow. She shows up at the moment of death and wails out her grief. Some say she is really a ghost, wronged by the ancestor of the dying.
But wait...it gets better. See what happens when darkness falls....
Buried beneath the wood slab is a tiny red LED light that can be clicked on and off, turning her sinister heart light on at the moment of someone's impending death. Created exclusively for Coastal Mountain Land Trust's "Ragged Wood Art Project," this fairy dress will be donated to CMLT and sold as part of their campaign to protect 1,400 acres of land on Ragged Mountain. This dress comes from the woods and it will go back to the woods.
Justin and I are actively working on a body of work this year around literary shadowboxes, altered book arts and "Wee Folk" Irish fairy tales embodied in sculpture. Our interests are on the darker side of literature designed for a show in libraries and galleries that lean toward the alternative. If you are interested in having us display our work with you, please contact us.
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations
Photos, stories and concept ©Kay Stephens
Look up the story behind a fairy dress by clicking on the name below