Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Hmmmm? Well if there is a such a thing as a good witch Glinda would be the prime example of it.
So if you read any of the Oz books you'll notice that she is a bit different from the film version. First off no floating bubble...which is interesting because nothing says Glinda like a floating bubble.
Another difference is that she only appears to Dorothy at the very end of the tale to reveal the magic of the silver slippers...yes, that's right, silver slippers...they are only made of rubies in the film. Rubies are, however a favorite stone of Glinda in the novels in fact her palace and throne are bedazzled by them. As for her attire, it is mostly white with red accents. Red is actually kind of an important color for her because it is the color that symbolizes the region she governs...Quadling Country,,,,in the South...not the North.
She is sort of an Obie Wan Kenobi of Oz. Fully actualized, she in touch with whatever the Oz-ian version of "the Force" would be. Certainly, she is the wisest and most powerful of all the characters in Oz.
In the film, the Wiz, there is an added aspect to her character. Glinda, portrayed by Lena Horne, is directly responsible for bringing Dorothy to Oz. In the books and the film, Dorothy learns valuable life lessons by chance. However, in the Wiz, Dorothy was intentionally brought to Oz so that she could partake in a life-changing quest and become the heroine she was destined to be. Dorothy saw herself as worthless, Glinda brought her to Oz so she could realize her potential.
So onto my interpretation...
When I started this piece I thought it was important to embody the characteristics of Glinda found in the novel. In the film she is a bit of a goody-two-shoes, thus it was necessary to create something that is a bit more complex than a fairy godmother. I wanted to her to seem as if see was the embodiment of something ancient and mysterious. The first item I chose for the piece was a Japanese doll head, which I decided needed to remain minimally altered. From that I added elements to heighten her mystique....the ancient lock on the top, the pure white tree forming her dress. Another aspect of Glinda that was crutial to the work, was that she needed to be somewhat indistinguishable from the shrine that surrounded her. This was done to imply that she is not merely a character of her realm, but that she and her realm are in fact one in the same.
I should mention, that I did add a subtle homage to the film. Her head is suspended in a round bowl to symbolize the bubble that Billie Burke floats in on. Not exactly a bubble...but it's round.
Admittedly I liked the idea put forth by the Wiz. The concept of Glinda as a guiding force seemed too important to leave out, so for her arms I modified an old film editing tool. Each arm spins a tiny globe. The one on the left is a globe of Oz...the Emerald City marked by an X. On the right is planet earth; here Dorothy's home, Kansas is marked. All this to imply Glinda's direct involvement with Dorothy's quest.
Appropriately, she was the first character I created for the Oz series. The reason for this, by the way, was because she had such specific colors associated with her in the books, that I knew that it would force me to venture into new palettes for the series. It did...and how!
I'll leave you with Lena Horne as Glinda