The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Carlsbad Village Fairies Enchant People of All Ages

Photo by Nadia Razzaq
Sunlight beams through the trees onto the fairy house at Agua Hedionda Lagoon’s Fairyland. Children and families can be spotted often enjoying the magical display.

The arrival of Carlsbad Village Fairies has locals and visitors serendipitously spotting fairy doors, leaving some to wonder where the doors have come from and why they’re there. Fitting precisely into tree hollows, the intricate and eccentric form of art has enthralled an already magical and artistic community. The process begins as simply as the molding of the clay to fit the tree, transforming into an extraordinary piece of ethereal work within a matter of hours. 

A little girl crouches next to a fairy door with a sign that says “Welcome to Fairyland” at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon exhibit. The Lagoon’s Preschool Playdates program often entails the children spending time exploring the exhibit. (Photo courtesy of Carlsbad Village Fairies)

Prior to Carlsbad Village Fairies, there were Trawden Forest Fairies. In 2016, something mystical was brewing at the heart of the enchanting village of Trawden in Lancashire, England. In search of solace after the unforeseen passing of her mother, this unnamed artist took daily walks among the woodlands and wildlife of the forest surrounding Trawden. She envisioned otherworldly narratives of fairies in her imagination. In pursuit of a tangible way to enhance this vision, the artist embarked on an expedition to create fairy installations. 

The phenomenon gained recognition throughout the artist’s time in Trawden, most notably after the BBC reported on the hidden gems within the English village on local news. When the artist’s husband received a job promotion in 2019, she found herself away from the comfort of her fairytale-like village and in the beachside city of Carlsbad. The pandemic was only beginning and the world was entering uncharted territory of fear and confusion, sparking inspiration to continue her careful craft under the name of Carlsbad Village Fairies.

The artist places a fairy door into a tree hollow. The process of installation does not disrupt the well-being of the tree as it only requires a bit of glue. (Photo courtesy of Carlsbad Village Fairies)

“The world seemed in a terrible situation and people were very down and very depressed, and I thought about when I was feeling like that and how the children were all very anxious, so I created a fairy trail along the Rail Trail in Carlsbad,” the artist said. 

The installation of 15 fairy doors can be found throughout the Carlsbad Rail Trail where locals and artists alike joined in on the creative vision. Children hide fairy toys within the trees and local artists paint murals with vibrant colors.

Throughout her work, the artist has chosen to remain an anonymous, Banksy-like artist in Carlsbad. The artist holds a purpose behind her decision to keep her identity secret: to uphold the mystery and whimsical nature behind her initiative.

“As a viewer of the work, you kind of become part of the narrative and the story of finding it and thinking about where it came from,” Art and AP Art History Teacher Megan Herrick said. “My kids think it’s really cool. They’re pretty creative and they think it’s a great idea. They wanna do it at their school.”

The artist was commissioned to compose an exhibit for the Agua Hedionda Lagoon recently, creating an otherworldly place for children to play and foster creativity at. On a Sunday morning, local Girl Scouts giggled and chased one another in Fairyland.

Women excitedly spot fairy doors while walking along the Carlsbad coast. The Carlsbad Village is a prime spot for fairy sightings with the project becoming an attraction on the Carlsbad Rail Trail. (Photo Courtesy of Carlsbad Village Fairies)

“What would the tooth fairy be if there weren’t any fairies?” a Girl Scout said. “I even have a fairy book.”

The installation art has not only astonished children: adults find their inner child infatuated whenever they come across a fairy door too.

“These grown women were hunting around the trees and you could only imagine how it is for the children,” the artist said. “Sometimes I get caught in the action and they’re fascinated by them and I’ve had so many people stop and ask me why I do it and thank me for creating them… I didn’t really expect the kind of impression it leaves on people.”

With the rise of the fairy movement in Carlsbad, fairy doors began to disappear from tree hollows and people requested a fairy door of their own. The artist created an Instagram, @carlsbadvillagefairies, and an Etsy business called “TrawdenForestFairies” in hopes of spreading the fanciful spirit of her craft to more families and communities. 

“It’s quite magical to think you have an impact on people’s lives and create memories that will carry with them for a long time,” the artist said. “Without a doubt, if you can make someone smile in a world that’s going through some problems at the moment, it’s a real gift and incredibly rewarding.” 

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  • K

    KristaJun 14, 2023 at 11:14 am

    Hello! At one time, I saw the doors, they were beautiful. I learned today that the city took them down, I’m so sad! I’d love to make some for my yard – is there a way to contact the artist? Thank you ❤️