Today I start off my alphabetic tour of folklore and its influence on me with the letter 'A'.
At first I struggled with what to write. Not for lack of choice. I was drawn by the lure of Avebury’s prehistoric stones, its spectral medieval fairs and eerie singing; ghosts or a portal through time?
But I touch on prehistory next week in a visit to Boscastle, and Arthur’s well covered. So instead I opted to give time to four current artists whose work is inspired by folklore, or reflects a more ghostly and fantastical aspect of this world and what might lie just beyond, on the edge of sight. Now I'm no art critic or student. This is simply a reflection of my awe at imagery these artists have created and the magick it holds for me. All of them I've stumbled across online, largely due to participation in the awesome weekly #FolkloreThursday event hosted on Twitter.
For me, their's is a visual magick that is very much alive among us. I hope you'll enjoy their work as much as I do; perhaps visit their sites, follow them on Twitter and give them some vocal support.
Roberto Kusterle (Photography)
Based in Italy, Roberto is perhaps a well known name in photographic and artistic circles, but for me – and many who participate in #FolkloreThursday – he was a new discovery. His black and white imagery is haunting. It combines the beauty of nature with a strange and perfect madness that is the magick of fairytales, horror and folklore.
See for yourself!
Roberto's images certainly helped me visualise themes I wanted to explore whilst writing the short story ‘Magpie’.
David Bez @davidbezartist (Painter)
I’m not entirely sure how I stumbled on David’s work. I think I was simply taking a break from writing and browsing Twitter. I was lucky. I love his work. David reflects a variety of settings including rural, urban and industrial settings. For me there's often a folkloric horror captured that lingers on the edge of imagination; combines the settings quite beautifully with horror and fear, creatures we don't know and the wonder of a folkloric past.
I love too the urban and industrial aspect that David often captures. Mainly because I believe these settings will become our future folklore; one of smoke-breathing monsters and twisted minds, corrupt daemons and the honest few.
Lorena Carrington @Lorena_C (Photographic Artist, Illustrator and Writer)
Lorena’s work is something else. Quite unique. From a heathen's point of view (that being me), it explores the beauty of monsters and death. It considers the gentle nature of what might cause our natural instincts to react in abject horror and fear. Delicate and frightening at once, the pictures are both magickal and unashamedly Otherworldly.
I can’t really think how else to describe it – you really do have to see for yourself.
Lorena’s work greatly helped me identify themes I wanted to explore along with the main characters’ essence of being whilst writing ‘Forever Raven’, a novel at its earliest stage.
Kate Leiper (Painting and Illustration)
Kate’s work I discovered writing ‘Forever Raven’. Looking for images to help visualise the Celtic Otherworld, the Tuatha Dé Danann and a romance between Fae and human. More traditional and dreamy in a fairytale and Celtic style, it incorporates the most beautifully detailed natural elements and smallest touches.
So easy to get lost in;
Absolutely fantastic; I have no other words.
There are of course many more artists I might have included, but for now I’m focussing on just four that have influenced my writing over the last year. Their work, the beauty and feelings it holds, has helped me in some small way to visualise themes, a narrative I want, the characters and magick of the Otherworld. I hope you’ll take some time to enjoy their art as much as I do.
I enjoyed writing this. If you'd like me to do similar future pieces where I explore other artists, current and past, leave a comment and let me know. Next week, for letter 'B', I'll be visiting one of my most favouritest places in the whole wide world...