Monday 21 January 2019

Double double toil and trouble ...

A new year sees the release of a new series, at last! For many months I have been working on the ‘Double double toil and trouble ...’ series, and sometimes there has been a lot of toil and more than a little trouble involved in creating it. 

The inspiration first sprang on me after pondering on all the weird and wonderful objects relating to witchcraft and folklore in Britain. In particular I thought about the amazing and mysterious artifacts at Pitt Rivers, and also more recently at the Spellbound exhibition. This got me thinking about exactly what sorts of things you might see laying around in the deepest darkest corners of a witches home ready to weave her magic. 

Some of the objects have featured in past artworks, sometimes in tiny detail, other times as the focus of a piece, such as the Hand of Glory, bat and newts, others are new ventures inspired by specific objects, such as the frog - inspired by an amulet at Pitt Rivers in which a frog is surrounded by bells, naturally I replaced these with eyes, and the pierced heart which there are several of at Pitt Rivers also. 

This was one of those series where it’s easy to get carried away. Originally intended to be a stand alone piece the series spiraled out of control, and even now I have ideas for other pieces involving shrunken heads, witches ladders, amulets and all sorts of mystical objects. Most days I think of more and more things in include in the pieces. For another time perhaps. 

The mystery and tradition of British Folklore and Witchcraft is both fascinating and incredibly important to me. Its a part of our history often forgotten and overshadowed by later arrivals to our island. But our unique and original beliefs and superstitions are (to me at least) captivating and something I want to keep a candle burning for always. If I can pay homage to our heritage in my own little way through my creations I fully intend to do so, indefinitely.

The 'Double double toil and trouble ...' series is now available to buy as a series or individual prints at the etsy store here!

'Eye of Newt and Hand of Glory, 
Brings about a terrible fury, 
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a Hell-broth boil and bubble.

Adders fork and blind crows beak, 
Evil havoc I shall wreak,
Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Wool of Bat and heart of Ewe,
My darkest magick's seeking you,
In my cauldron boil and bake, 
Witches potion I shall make.'

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