A Fairy-tale from Stanford

A friend of us in the village used to make ‘faeries’. He made a good living out of it and even employed people from (hate that expression:) ‘previously disadvantaged communities‘ (which are BTW still marginalized). The faeries from Stanford, South Africa went all over the globe. But as with so many great new ideas and products; there are always those copycats who do it cheaper and often with inferior materials. The faeries are now made in … (guess….).

A fairy-tale is a surreal story and usually with a happy ending. Our friend’s fairy-tale did not have a happy ending but the remains of his own faeries are all over his place and tell their own story. When processing a selection of 2 images of desintegrating faeries in his garden I tried to emphasize the reality beyond.

But my friend and his wife are an optimistic couple. Soon they will start with a new range of angel faeries and let’s all hope that the follow up of this fairy-tale has a happy ending after all.

Faerie3web faerie2WEB




Not mentioned in any known travel itinerary is the shop window in Stanford, South Africa. It’s in the main Victoria Street at the Stanford Hotel. It’s there where The Angel of Stanford resides. Every now and than ‘shebeen owner’ Penny van den Berg redecorates the windows with her ‘girls’. And that is quite a process of meticulous fitting the right dresses, the right wigs and the right gadgets for the right occasion. This week Penny is in heavenly spheres and all her thoughts are with angels. Her installations are a true art. She does not only use the windows but also the space behind thus also using the old shopping counter and the cupboard behind. From her childhood onwards Penny has been collecting dolls in all sizes; from a tiny Swedish ‘Pippie Langkous’ to life-size fashion dolls. And there is something more to it as well; every time when a known villager passes away Penny adds a candle behind the window and this candle, accompanied by a picture of the deceased, will burn until after the funeral. For all on a road trip in South Africa and co-incidentally in the area it’s worthwhile to take a turn into Stanford. After about 1 kilometer the window is on the right.