Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Klaudia Rapala 

BA [Hons] Design for Stage + Screen Character MakeUp Design

Coming from a Fine Art background Klaudia's approach and dedication to design is quite unique. She works through a range of media and constantly pushes and adapts her skillset to each individual project. She may be a graduate in character design but her skills span much wider than that. She loves working in the chaotic world of production, makeup and costumes as well as hiding away in the corner to draw.


Logline: A young woman visits the terrifying crone in the woods seeking help. The strange encounter hovers between reality and nightmarish folktales.

Inspired by the fairy tales of Baba Yaga and my heritage I worked with a scriptwriter to create a story that encompasses Yaga's transformative qualities and highlights the design possibilities. I was the co-director, concept artist, Makeup/Costume/Production Designer and maker, Producer, head MUA and set dresser for this project.

My project explores the origin of Baba Yaga, examines her various representations through visual interpretation and illuminates the role she holds within fairy tales as well as a society today.

The Shapeshifting image of Baba Yaga and the Forest as a Transformative space in Slavic fairytales.

Baba Yaga is a supernatural being, an old hag and witch living at the heart of the forest in a hut that spins around on chicken legs. Surrounded by a rich and illustrative history she is
a well-known figure in Slavic folk tales. The liminal forest is an important aspect of these stories and to the understanding of the witch, Yaga is a threshold character and a shapeshifter
not only in figure but also in nature. Her often ambiguous qualities as villain or donor give complexity to her character that has many interpretations. Most of all she represents feminine strength and the power of nature. Baba Yaga’s role over time has significantly reduced, which led to the forgetting of some of her attributes and a misunderstanding of the character.

My thesis explores the origin of Baba Yaga and examines her various representations and
illuminates the role she holds within fairy tales as well as a society today.