Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time

2015-16
Original music composition Yevgeniy Sharlat
Technical development Theodore Johnson

Once Upon a Time is a series of small-scale mechanical sculptures based on popular folk tales. Collectively, they examine the underlying moral messages of fairy tales and their effect on child’s psyche.  Each sculpture is a wind-up toy comprised of a painted wooden box with moving figures, as well as music clockwork that plays a custom-composed melody particular to each scene.

The music is played by a revolving brass cylinder that plucks the tuned teeth of a steel comb. The miniature size encourages up-close viewing, and visitors are allowed to pick up the toy in order to operate the wind-up mechanism.  

View and listen to Red Riding Hood in action
View and listen to Masha and The Bear in action
View and listen to Vasilisa and Baba Yaga in action
View and listen to Hansel and Gretel in action
View and listen to Sister Alenushka and Brother Ivanushka
View and listen to Wish in action

Photography Leon Alesi