For children, the world is a magical place. Reality is inseparable from the imagination. As they play, the barrier thins between the everyday and make-believe. Fairies could be lurking just behind the next tree stump. In the next moment, a white rabbit with a pocket-watch might cross your path. A handful of artists are embracing this expansive mindset to a surreal effect, making us question what is real.
Deep in the backwoods of Quebec lies such a fairy-tale universe. Here, Moment Factory invented Forest Lumina, an installation of light, design, and architecture that weaves together seven distinct mythological stories. In this glowing realm, you wend your way through different scenarios, inventing your own narrative. It’s like becoming a character in a 3-D choose-your-own-adventure book.
A close look at the photographs of Thomas Dagg reveals a lingering childhood obsession with Star Wars. In one photo, the backpack on a boy’s shoulders becomes Yoda. In another, a baseball player at bat swings a light saber. These otherworldly photographs reflect a time when fantasy filtered every experience, invading and profoundly altering the artist’s sense of reality.
If you stepped into the Gagosian Gallery’s booth at the Frieze Art Fair last month, you encountered Carsten Höller‘s Gartenkinder, a playspace complete with a rocking magic mushroom, giant dice, and a bouncy ball. The gallery’s kid magnet was commandeered by little people, while most fairgoers resisted the urge to join them.
Wander into the Australian countryside and you might come upon Gray Malin‘s trippy flock of sheep. His Dream series project alludes to a story in which a farmer hid his flock from thieves by dyeing their fleece. In real life, this fluffy rainbow turns out to be a beautiful head turner. Just think how hard it would be to fall asleep if you were counting these bright quadrupeds?
You can join in by designing your own fairytale for Blank Space‘s Fairy Tale II Competition. For the second year, architects, designers, writers, artists, engineers, illustrators, students and creatives are invited to submit their own unique architectural fairy tales—fanciful proposals that “take fun seriously and are audacious enough to ignite imaginations.”