Orion the Trojan Sea Unicorn of Woodford Folk Festival

by Anna Dreyer

With a starring role in this year’s welcoming ceremony as the whimsical centrepiece of the official festival program and posters, the Trojan Sea Unicorn is arguably the most identifiable star of this year’s Woodford Folk Festival.

Orion makes his debut at the 2019 Woodford Folk Festival welcoming ceremony. Photo by Dylan Crawford.

Orion, the huge Trojan Sea Unicorn is the amazing work ‘Artist in Residence’ Gavin Ryan.

Gavin says his creation was “the end result of a long process of flying ideas and concepts”, using 3D software to develop the idea and taking a couple months to build.

He collaborated with Festival Director Bill Hauritz about ways to visualise this year’s festival theme We Are All Connected.

“The Trojan Sea Unicorn is floating through space channelling the energy of the cosmos through the DNA spiral of its horn, down into its heart and out through the heart doorway via little baby seahorses who are also doing the same thing,” Gavin says.

“It was a completely new way of working in 3D software to model everything.

“It was a solo work to create but I had a great team of volunteers through the construction phase.”

Woodfordia artist in residence Gavin Ryan. Photo by Meg Williams-Dell.

It takes a team of volunteers to operate the work, and during his appearances in the streets of the festival he’s been mobbed by fans young and old alike.

Woodford’s Trojan Sea Unicorn is open to new appearance opportunities in 2019 and is also hoping to secure a new living arrangement in a much larger, drier home.

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