My journey with the Hag begins with this piece. A friend mentioned that MECCA (Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts) put out a call to artists for their “Object Afterlife Art Challenge”in September and I entered, not really knowing what to expect. Each artist was presented with a mystery material that would then be used to build an art project. I received a piece of unconstructed basketry. It put me in the mind of a nest, so I figured I would do a bird of some sort, most likely a phoenix.
But the Hag was calling. My long time interest in Baba Yaga was surfacing and I knew she needed to be part of this art project. I ended up creating a cross between a phoenix and the iconic chicken hut that Baba Yaga lives in, complete with a small model of her in the doorway and a stove inside.
I used recycled paper, cardboard, fabric and basketry in this piece, most of which I acquired at MECCA, as well as paperclay and paint. It is nestled in a vintage tray I picked up from a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.
The creation of “The Turning” was an exhilarating and exhausting process. And somewhere between its creation and the opening of the art show, I was seized with the urge to make this a year-long project focused on Baba Yaga, creating a different interpretation of her each month. She would take no less than that, the commitment of a whole year of my time.
I knew better than to ignore a call this powerful. So here I begin the journey. Come along with me and see what I come up with for Baba Yaga every month for the next year. I will also add other art projects along the way.