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Anaïs Herd-Smith & Michael Velliquette

France & USA

La boite de Paon d’Or
(The Box with the Golden Peacock)

10” x 6” x 6” / 254 mm x 152.4 mm x 152.4mm
Heavyweight card stock paper and glue, fluorescent ink and polymer clay

This concept sprung forth from the imaginary worlds of Anaïs and Michael just as an astonishing magical creature may sometimes emerge from a treasure box. This dream-like fairytale inspired work (called ‘Magical Realism’ by the literati) coming out from this duet collaboration reminded the curator of a French children’s story that he had read in translation a long time ago. Titled ‘Le Petit Paon Et La Pièce D’Or’ (The Little Peacock and the Gold Coin) by Claire Monférier, it tells the story of a wrathful peacock that takes revenge on a king by flooding his kingdom, because his men stole a gold coin from it and instead of returning the coin, try to kill the bird, but eventually it calms down and showers the citizens of the kingdom with more gold coins and precious gems. A fairy tale / allegory with little or no apparent logic to it, this work is in-fact a visual and sculptural rendering of a childhood music box with a winding key, with a dancing ballerina or a fairy dancing inside to the beautiful tinkling sounds of the music that activates through the winding action. A return to childhood with this work!

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