The Last Unicorn

“Once, I can’t remember, I was long ago, someone strange. I was innocent and wise, and full of pain. Now that I’m a woman, everything has changed. Once, when I was searching, somewhere out of reach, far away, in a place I could not find, or heart obey. Now that I’m a woman, everything is strange.”

– Lady Amalthea (Unicorn), The last Unicorn 1968, Peter S. Beagle.

The Last Unicorn 2018

This doll was inspired by a character from a 1968 fantasy novel by Peter S. Beagle, who undertakes a quest to find others of her kind, becomes a mortal woman and begins to experience human emotions. It is one of the saddest, and most beautiful fairy tales written, and I believe it is a poingant allegory for environmental destruction, rampant consumerism, loss of biodiversity and extinction. But it is also about love, courage, hope and transformation.

 

“I am afraid of this mortal body…”

– Lady Amalthea (Unicorn), The last Unicorn 1968, Peter S. Beagle.

 

I’ve worked on this piece for over three years, dismantling and reassembling it multiple times as the image of the Unicorn slowly shaped itself. The 24k gold-plated bronze head piece was inspired by Hans Holbein’s 1539 portrait of Anne of Cleves, who was the 4th wife of King Henry the 8th. It is very light for its size, weighing only 82.3g (2.9oz). The costume is constructed with gold appliqué embroidery on fine tule, 2,435 gold-lined glass beads (24k), 1,880 seed beads, 635 Swarovski crystals, 148 Mother of Pearl flowers, 46 fresh water Pearls and 21 Amethyst gemstones.

 

“She will remember your heart when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits. Of all unicorns, she is the only one who knows what regret is – and love.”

– Schmendric, the Magician, The last Unicorn 1968, Peter S. Beagle. 

 

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