Sunday 10 July 2022

The Wicker Man: A Horror Homage

As a long time horror fanatic and film collector, the genre has long moulded and shaped me as a person, and artist. The aesthetics, stories and cult status of the movies I love so much have an awful lot to answer for!
My favourite film of all time; The Wicker Man (1973), says a lot about my connection to and enthusiasm for the folk horror genre in particular. But also my wider love of pre-80s British horror in particular (Hammer, Tigon, Amicus, British Lion).

As a homage to my favourite movie I have done a few small artworks recently themed around The Wicker Man. These pieces were simply designed to celebrate my love for my favourite film and it’s glorious uniqueness.

One pays tribute to one of my favourite scenes, in which Christopher Lee draws from the Walt Whitman poem 'Song of myself', with his dulcet tones declaring ‘I think I could turn and live with animals ...’. I always felt that seeing the footage of snails entwined while Heather deflowers young Ash Buchanan to be a stroke of cinematic genius, so wanted to express my adoration in the only way I know, through an artwork. I also feel the sentiment rings so true with me personally, as I seem to find myself often feeling I have much more in common with animals than humans, and increasingly so.

The second I created to celebrate May Day with the iconic Wicker Man sun face featured numerous times in the film. Initially I intended to create the piece as a dip pen work to practice my technique, however after discovering my remaining waterproof black ink had become a gloopy mass too thick to use I had to revert to using pigment liners (which in hindsight is probably the only way I could get the level of control and detail needed for the piece.)

I find creating these artworks, just for me and to express my passion and adoration for what I consider to be the pinnacle of British cinema, a near meditative practice. It is my own unique way to honour something that has become an integral part of me and shaped me for who I am from my first viewing almost 20 years ago. A heathen conceivably, but not I hope an unenlightened one ...