Penelope Marjorie

Penelope Marjorie is an Irish artist who works primarily on fairies, pixies and ethereal creatures inspired by Victoriana, Irish folklore and contemporary culture.

She has been studying fairies since she was a child. Childhoods spent in many parts of the West of Ireland, introduced her to the magical folklore of fairies, told to her by people in the countryside, passed down from centuries old.

Fairy history is entwined in that of Irish history with the ancient rulers of Ireland called the Tuatha Dé Danann. And even today, fairy culture is embedded in Irish people’s everyday life, and many Irish people, particularly in rural areas, still worry about the implications of offending this ancient race. For example, in 2000, workers refused to cut down a hawthorn tree believing it to be a “Fairy tree”. The building was a multi million pound motorway project, so after much consideration the Irish government decided to alter the course of the motorway to accommodate the fairy tree, because of the widely held belief that to chop down the tree would bring very bad luck to any Irish motorists that traveled that way.

Stories of fairies are often presented in an organized way and for entertainment for children, but are they entertainment or something more?

It can be said that fairy stories are not really for children, they can be far too serious, too complicated for that. Of course some may argue that such fairy knowledge is only superstitious nonsense which only serves as a throwback to a time of ignorance or lack of education But yet fairy stories always seem to propel a fascination over young and old alike. What is needed in our modern world, are cold hard facts, statistics, numbers, proofs but yet, as human beings, we know there are many things that cannot be explained. Fairies in Ireland are honored for their gifts, and feared for their wrath. But they serve to remind us to respect the world we live in and the world we cannot see. They are creatures that can afflict enlighten and instruct those who cross their paths.

Penelope Marjorie has a whimsical curious approach, seeking to portray the essence of the fairy world as she sees it, without violating what is by nature of the encounter quite sacred. Also mixing these inspirations with some of her favorite references from Victoriana to modern influences.

In her paintings, the magic of this fairy world happens by itself, privately, subtly and in most cases quite ordinarily. By being a transmitter of this underworld, which interrupts ours, she respectfully depicts all that is their world and our world, as we know it. There is no gimmick for accessing the other dimension. So, the fairies of Penelope Marjorie stand watching at the threshold of both an old and new world. They are close to us, understanding and ordinary, sitting in our shoes, trying on our stockings, sleeping on our pillows… they travel far and wide just like us and if you are lucky you might enter their fairy realm.