Many people have asked if this swoopy creature on my fairy tale gate is a Seahorse. The answer is no, but yes. He’s supposed to be Falkor, the dragon in The Neverending Story. I didn’t want to mimic the movie version of Falkor, which to me looks more Golden Retriever than dragon, and doesn’t ring true to the picture I’d always had in my head. I knew his scales would be seashells, so in keeping with the ocean theme, I looked at pictures of sea horses and sea dragons and combined them with some images of a traditional Chinese luck-dragon until he morphed into what you see here.
“Luckdragons are creatures of air, warmth, and pure joy. Despite their great size, they are as light as a summer cloud, and consequently need no wings for flying. They swim in the air of heaven as fish swim in water…”
“…his long graceful body with its pearly, pink and white scales…bristling fangs, his thick luxuriant mane and fringes on his tail and limbs…The eyeballs in his lionlike head glistened ruby red.”
“Seen from the earth, they look like slow lightning flashes. The most amazing thing about them is their song. Their voice sounds like the golden note of a large bell, and when they speak softly the bell seems to be ringing in the distance.” -From The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.
I chose to incorporate Falkor and The Neverending Story into my gate because the book is a portal itself, literally drawing the main character Bastion into itself, into a world called Fantastica. Once Bastion is in Fantastica, Falkor becomes his porter and guide. On an aside note… Falkor doesn’t need wings to fly. The wings at the top of the gate belong to the Lunar Moth in Doctor Doolittle, who, with the help of some magic flowers flies the good doctor to the moon. More wings in the gate, barely visible in these images, belong to Proginoskes, a creature from A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
This fairy tale gate is called A Wind in the Door and will be on display at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, MA until September 7th 2014 as part of the summer exhibit Portals and Passageways. * Update, the gate has been re-installed for the 2015 season at Highfield Hall. Stop by and say hello to Falkor if you are in the neighborhood.