Dan Baines

Fairy Rings and Monstrous Things

Elsie Wright's Sewing Box


A piece inspired by The Cottingley Fairies case in which a series of five photographs were taken by Elsie Wright (1900–88) and Frances Griffiths (1907–86), two young cousins who lived in Cottingley, near Bradford in England.

Although they revealed in 1983 that the photographs had been faked they both maintained that they really had seen fairies in the beck at the back of the house. Although the girls confessed that the images were nothing more than cut out illustrations from a popular children's book the girls still believed that one image was genuine.

The fifth photograph known as 'The Fairy Sunbath', shows a number of semi translucent fairies who the girls claimed appeared while they were preparing to take another fake photograph.

'It was a wet Saturday afternoon and we were just mooching about with our cameras and Elsie had nothing prepared. I saw these fairies building up in the grasses and just aimed the camera and took a photograph'.

Elsie Wright's Sewing Box was made using a genuine antique sewing box while the fairy was constructed using tissue paper and real insect parts. The wings and antennae are taken from a huge taxidermy Moon Moth.


© Dan Baines 2016