Knock Knock

The constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic and the social restrictions it brought meant that doors increasingly closed between us and the outside world. The Knock Knock collection challenges us to consider what may lie behind these closed doors – large and small, simple and ornate, prosaic and magical.

Jon M Wilson

Urban sprawl and gentrification affect us all – the country towns of yesteryear become the bustling market hubs, and grow into small cities. Urbanisation overtakes the rural life, and housing density rises – the needs of a city must be met, as the population rises and the demands increase. The self-sufficient – near subsistence – lifestyle of the countryside fairies and elves is no longer as sustainable or desirable when the city lights beckon.

Bringing the urban environment a touch of magic that is usually reserved for forests and gardens. Function over form, with magical realism that speaks of working lives and metropolitan dwelling.

We’ve all seen the whimsical fairy doors that spring up amongst the bluebells and daisies. We’ve all seen their delightful colours and enchanting decorations peeking out from the leafy idyll of forest glades and woodland nooks. They are a glimpse into the world of the fairy – dancing in the dewdrops, and flitting through the dappled light of nature’s canopy.

What has remained hidden behind the scenes, just out of sight, is the world that supports these artisans and artists.  Behind every fairy who spends her – or his – day weaving the silken cobwebs into dreamcatchers and chai cosies, is someone who carved their table and chair, someone who made the hinges and nails that make their beautiful fairy door what it is.

Yes, there’s the fairy artiste who gathers the dew, to mix with the delicate pollen of the tulips and daffodils to make their organic, all natural pigments and tinctures to paint their auras, and express their feelings in bold swirls of colour on the pebbles of the river bank. But who makes their clay pots? Not the whimsical Toby Jugs and grinning troll mugs for tourists, but the everyday working pots that hold fragments of charcoal, a couple of grams of deep red earth, or some distilled organic goop in shades of rich green. Who brews their coffee? Who services their… other needs – the light, the dark and the in between?

The Knock Knock collection captures and celebrates the ordinary parts of the world, capturing an imagined miniature world. Functional, rugged, prosaic doors suitable for a blacksmith or a coffee shop, a tinker or an adult emporium.

I want to create an authenticity to the interaction with the object that has nothing to do with whether the object is real

Jon M Wilson, with thanks to Adam Savage

In practical terms, this collection of miniature doors (at approximately 1/12th scale) is a post-industrial, non-gendered interpretation of the established ‘fairy doors’, without the trappings of pinkness, sweet femininity and the imposition of traditional gender roles on the imagined owners of the doors.

Not everyone in the fairy world gets to make the tree change and live amongst the greenery and rural idyll of the forest. Some have to make do with the urban environment, and carve out a niche as best they can. Urban sprawl inevitably consumes the suburbs, which consume their rural fringes and the occupants adapt. Neighbours become physically closer and more emotionally separated as infill development becomes the norm. Low density acreage is divided and subdivided until higher density living is more prevalent. 

They say that good fences make good neighbours – in the city, a good door and good lock help to do the same. Solid, reliable doors to keep the outside out, and the inside, in when the world is not everything we would wish it to be, and life in the community is not as communal as it could be.

I acknowledge the Jagera/Turrbal peoples, the First Nation Traditional Owners of the land on which we gather. I pay respects to all Elders past and present and acknowledge the young leaders who are working beside our Elders in our cultural industries. I recognise all First Nation peoples as the original storytellers of these lands and acknowledge the important role they continue to play in our community.