Meliae or the lady of the forest by Marilie

As a child my favourite characters in legends were always the strange fairy lady and the witches. I used to be saddened when the stories portrayed them as being evil. I did not understand why the powerful female figures almost always turned out to be the enemies; to me they were just misunderstood or misjudged.

I had the idea of this “character” while I was walking in the wood near my parents’ house. It was in October and all the leaves had turned to gold, John Keats poems “La belle dame sans merci” came to my mind and I thought about all those stories of mysterious enchantresses who seduce men and then abandon or kill them (Huldra, Kitsune, Lamia...). One of the moral of those stories is obviously that appearances are deceitful, which is true although I can’t help thinking that if a story was told from the point of view of one of those creatures, we would see her very differently. As I’m not good to tell stories, I preferred to make a drawing and let it speak for itself.

You will find in this document a small sketch, a photo I took last October and the final design of my idea.

Armatura by Marilie

This idea came to me from a personal experience. Two years ago, I suffered from something quite strange called “Alopecia totalis”, a thing that made me lose all my hair in 2 months. I was relieved that it was only an “aesthetic” problem but it was still something that was hard to accept at first. Even thought I never really cared about my physical appearance, I had to fight with my “vanity” and accept this loss. I discovered a confidence in myself I did not know I had. My hair grew back eventually and I won a nice white stripe of hair on the back of my head.

We all have our battles to fight, some are harder than other. We all have our scars. We all had to cope with losses. We all have armors that we’ve built to protect ourselves.

Armatura is a Latin word that means “Armor” or “Arms”, it is also the origin of the French word “Armature” which is a structure that support something that is being constructed. This name seams perfect for my design since it represents something that protects in a battle as much as something that supports you.

You will find in this document a drawing that represents my idea (I won’t say it’s the final drawing since I’m not entirely satisfied with the design of the armor, but it still represents my idea pretty well).

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.