Website) Art car created by Lisa Nigro. The flamethrower
was designed by Flynn Mauthe.
Originally Lisa had envisioned her dragon as Shen
Lung the Chinese spiritual dragon who controls the winds and the
rain. She dreamed this dragon would be mobile and have wings that
flapped up & down and made a sound like a bellows. Its tail would
swish and snap back & forth and its surface would be cut from metal,
in a series of scales, all rusted & green. Eyes glowing red with a
vicious mouth, it would blow fire and orange balls of sulfurous
stank. To be in keeping with the Burning Man theme of "the Body,"
the eerie sound of theremin playing would summon the masses to snake
along with the dragon as it chased the magic pearl from one chakra
to the next on it's spiritual journey ~THAT WAS THE DREAM ~ this is
what actually happened...
Lisa conceived the idea of this magnificent Dragon just after
completing her Fertility Goddess as Sundial for Burning Man 1999.
She was on the playa reading "Wicked - The Life & Times of the
Wicked Witch of the West," by Gregory McGuire, and was inspired by
his description of a Dragon Clock Tower "made of hundreds of
overlapping discs of copper, bronze, and iron," roaming from village
to village, displaying sick and twisted puppet theatre. Lisa began
work on the proposal that winter and her boyfriend, Flynn Mauthe,
came up with the idea of hitching trailers together. "Like a
Louisiana hayride," he said, "so participants can catch a tour of
the Burning Man sites as they ride the dragon." Lisa's FERTILITY
GODDESS of 1999 had given birth to the DRAGON.
What the Beast is made of
Draka had become a
nocturnal beast, needing massage by day and excitement at night. At
birth she measured in at 124 feet in length, 12 feet in width at her
mid-section with a 30 foot wing span. Her train-like look being
attributed to the connection of one box truck to three trailers. Her
"Belly" was built on a Ford Econoline, one ton box truck. The
interior of this old fish truck had been stripped and redecorated by
the Dragon Girls to make a very plush, warm and inviting lounging
environment. Sort of a modern I-Dream-of-Jeanie's Bottle where six
could sleep comfortably on many a cold night.
The driver's "Cock-Pit" became a backdrop to Road-Warriors and
Dragon-Lovers with its red-washed walls, fur and leather
accoutrements. There was just enough room for the driver and
flame-thrower controller to sit cozily next to a 30 gallon propane
tank. This section, connected to the Beast's Belly, supported her
head, neck and wings plus a saddle on her back. The rear of the
belly was secured by two hand-made medieval-looking wooden doors,
designed with a fictitious gate to heaven and hell in mind.
The second, "Bar, Lounge and Kitchen Compartment" was all about
swank with its curved benches lined with red velvet and black fur, a
zebra print rug and bar covered with wooden shingles. Participants
were invited to have a drink, relax, and enjoy while touring Black
Rock City as seen from the bowels of one amazing beast.
The third, "Entertainment Car," was created for carrying musicians,
dj's, and performers like the Xtra-Action Marching Band. By the end
of the event we had to temporarily remove this car. The excess of
people climbing aboard was causing the Dragon to truly Drag and
gouge holes into the playa floor.
The fourth and smallest "Tail Section" finished off the beast and
was utilized for the storage of maintenance supplies and a