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Nest of the Skeletons - Tessa Farmer & Sean Daniels (extract)

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Published on Jan 3, 2009

Nest of the Skeletons www.tattonparkbiennial.org
Tessa Farmer and Sean Daniels stop motion animation works with Tatton Park as a place in which not just flora, but fauna, too, vies for attention and competes for space.
The film introduces viewers to a previously hidden world, where malevolent fairies have constructed a nest for themselves inside the guts of a weathered scarecrow in the Kitchen Garden. Built from seeds, leaves, twigs, roots, eggs, snail shells, mushrooms, moss and a woollen mitten, the nests components have been gathered from the gardens and grounds of Tatton in the tradition of birds and insects, which use external sources and materials to construct their habitats.
The fairy nest is divided into specific, purpose-built areas of activity. The Nursery space cares for the youngest fairies, newly hatched from their cocoons, while the Feeding Room is a containing space in which doting elders throw insects down to the hungry young of the colony. The Arena is a place of spectacular combat, where a fairy and a wasp wrestle in front of an enraged audience. The Larder stores captured insects for later eating and/or torture, as well as a stolen birds egg, which has been pushed inside a child's mitten, to ensure incubation and hatching of the baby bird prior to its consumption (like the calf that exists to become veal).
These fairies are not the stuff of Disney, but are part of a richer, darker, more ancient mythology that instils fear rather than pleasure-filled fantasy. Their existence reminds us of the harsh realities of the life cycles of plants and animals, which need to consume resources at the expense of their competitors in order to survive. Tessa Farmer and Sean Daniels stop motion animation works with Tatton Park as a place in which not just flora, but fauna, too, vies for attention and competes for space.

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