Baba Yaga’s Hut is featured in the The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) exhibition, Doll House: Miniature Worlds of Wonder, from 22 July – 29 August 2021. The work was displayed in the historical setting of Como House.
Miniatures have long been a means of escapism, their small scale inviting makers, collectors and playful minds into alternate, imagination-fuelled worlds.
Folklore around Baba Yaga paints her as a paradoxical figure – she is as likely to assist those who seek her out as to eat them. In some instances she is a crone and in others a trio of sisters, living in a hut hidden in the woods.
This miniature – Baba Yaga’s Hut – was made during the extended COVID-19 lockdown of Melbourne in 2020, when civic movement was largely confined.
Working on miniatures during this period was liberating; making at a small scale requires focus on the sculpted details, textures and layered colours; and the closure of stores led to resourceful use of scrap materials from previous projects. I walked the streets and along the Birrarung to gather twigs within my 5km radius.
In this way, Baba Yaga’s hut became a purposeful vehicle for finding ‘newness’ in the familiar, staying connected with the local area, and creating a new space for dreaming in an otherwise isolating and unprecedented situation.
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