Tales We Tell

Tales We Tell

2016
Original music composition Yevgeniy Sharlat
Technical development Theodore Johnson

Tales We Tell 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 Alkonost and Sirin in action
View and listen to Sleeping Beauty in action
View and listen to Rusalka in action
View and listen to Havroshechka in action
View and listen to Thumbelina in action
View and listen to Vodianoy in action

This project is supported in part by Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.
Photography Fred Hatt and Scott David Gordon