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1-  Annie in her workshop in Opera Diaspora Camp

A professional mask maker, Annie Hallatt first created art on the playa in 1994, when Larry Harvey asked her to make giant puppets of “urban totem images” (rat, racoon, pigeon, cockroach.) The next year she built 10-foot solar-powered, fluid-spouting breasts.

She later designed puppets and masks for each of the Operas, including (in 2001) the Minotaur, the Sun, and masks for the Moonbull and Monkey standard-bearers.

2-  Heads up, as yet no wings

The theme for 2001 was "The Seven Ages of Man." The Black Madonnas, situated just before the Cradle, marked the first step in your journey through the Seven Ages.

3-  Spencer and Shaun assist Annie with attaching the wings

The four-sided figures evoke a goddess cult traceable to that of Isis, surviving for centuries in France, Italy, Switzerland and the Romani (Gypsy) culture.


4-  Annie trimming a wing

This was Annie’s first wind-powered sculpture.

5-  Pikl adding a mandala of stones

Graceful arching wings catch the wind and spin, vividly sparking in the sun

6-  A living Madonna spins

Jehanne Rogowski-Hale demonstrates how passersby can spin themselves on four ancillary turntables.

Annie dedicated the sculpture to the late Mimi Farina, whose last words were “spin until the sky twirls open."

7-  Madonnas at night during the Procession

Four mobile puppets completed the Black Madonna ensemble.

Final touches also included solar-powered lighting by Arjuna (a battery charged during the day kept four lights going all night).

Photo by Zoe Keough.

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