Tessa Farmer’s In Fairy Land exhibition at the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities deeply satisfies the part of me that has always wanted to see a Bacchanalian fairy feast on the back of a giant spider crab.
When you first walk into the exhibition, it’s kind of hard to spot. It’s hidden amongst the hundreds of oddities (from a stuffed mermaid to Russell Brand’s pubic hair) in this small basement museum. But then you see what looks like a flying ant pushing something over, and then you realise it’s a tiny skeletal fairy. And then you see more and more, everywhere you look, wreaking havoc and discretely violating the other exhibits.
These are destructive fairies. They scribble on pages and cut up the wings of preserved butterflies. They ride their wasp-steeds pell-mell through the cabinets.
Looking at the array of taxidermied beasties and modified insects, I wonder what Tessa Farmer’s studio smells like? Maybe something like the inside of a poacher’s pocket crossed with the inside of a tarantula’s riding boots. It must be the most fantastical place.
If you’re into folklore-meets-the-wasp-factory, go see this exhibition. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s amazing.
Tessa Farmer’s incredible fairies and taxidermied monstrosities will continue to run amok in the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities at The Last Tuesday Society in Hackney till 13 February 2016.
Here are a few pics: