Sculptural Portraits of the Faery World
Opening this August at Expressions I Whirinaki Art and Entertainment Centre is a unique exhibition featuring the work of
Weta artist Johnny Fraser-Allen. The Gloaming is an immersive exhibition of dynamic, heavily detailed sculptures including faeires, dragons and goblins. Weta
Workshop's senior sculptor and conceptual designer Johnny Fraser-Allen has created over 40 sets of sculptural portraits
designed to transport young and old alike into the world of fantasy. Created over seven years, each figure, or set of
figures, is based on Eurocentric and Pacific mythological creatures which fire the imagination and is complemented by
large digital illustrations which extend the imaginative process.
In creating the works Fraser-Allen has incorporated conceptual design, sculpting, model making, painting and
illustration. Reminiscent of the models featured in iconic films The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth this is work that goes deep into the imagination and takes you into another world with the level of detail that is
“mind blowing”. “My goal” says Fraser-Allen, “is to make the fantastical more realistic for kids, as well as inspire
adults to imagine the stories that surround them. They are so much part of my own life I could write a small thesis on
each one of them”. Included in the exhibition are mysterious English brownies, sleeping German dragons and dancing
Swedish pixies as well as characters from Maori Mythology and a highlight is the 6 foot ‘Troubadour’. The exhibition
which was produced and curated by Sir Richard Taylor and Tania Rodgers from Weta Workshop also won an award as part of
an entry to this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show. The entry was a collaboration between Wellington’s Weta
Workshop and the award-winning garden design duo of former All Black Andy Ellis and landscape architect Danny Kamo.
Originally created for the 2012 Singapore Garden Festival, the native bush garden and cave became the setting for
Fraser-Allen’s credits include Andrew Adamson’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Stephen Spielberg’s Tintin and Peter Jackson’s King Kong and The Hobbit Trilogy. He is currently focussed on completing series of children’s books which support The Gloaming, a trilogy which feature the illustration and sculptures. He has also just finished illustrating a children’s book for
Canadian Actress Evangeline Lily called The Squickerwonkers.
Johnny Fraser-Allen’s The Gloaming
17 August – 28 October 2013