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Seven Sisters of Inherited Sun: Dilara Findikoglu SS18

by on Jan.18, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

Our collective jaw is on the floor over Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu‘s spectacular Spring/Summer 2018 collection.

Debuted during London Fashion Week, “Seven Sisters of Inherited Sun” is a glamorous, politically and mythologically inspired amalgam of sumptuous gothic finery that’s both sleek and baroque, occult imagery, and a wonderfully lurid punk edge.

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

From the Designer: “You are beside me, winter trees, a comrade to the world, a home, the TV is playing war, we hope for peaceful sunlight. A whole heart of blood, resting on a whole heart of blood. The children are dressed in black, they are throwing petrol bombs at the embassies, throwing electric flowers into the graveyard of capitalism. The philosopher is counting the slow candles of the icebergs, noting how many summers we have left. She is brilliant in her sunlight hat. Her chest is a pyramid”

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

Find Dilara Findikoglu on Instagram

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

“The president has retreated to the golf club, he rules in half sentences. Coughing up the 1950’s his mind is a puddle where broken dreams sit on the rooftops of libraries. New weddings and empty churches, the minarets talk to the dawn before the sun lights up the city. The priests are whirling like dervishes in circles, they pinball off the walls, singing silence. Diana and the swan ride an open topped red London bus, the trumpets beside them play rave music, LSD trips to the sound brass bands. CCTV diamonds for Oyster cards. God is bored of us now. She sides with the animals and the weather and they watch our digital alien rampage, with cool sad eves.”

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

Dilara Findikoglu London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 London September 2017

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Dr. Bloodsucker: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love My Pet Leech

by on Jan.16, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Leeches in jar

The other day I found myself at the home model and eccentric Jessie Lynn shares with third-generation coffin maker Jack Bennett — Jessie and I were planning to spend a few hours watching bad horror movies and drinking wine, but she also had new pets I was itching to take a peek at: hirudo medicinalis or, in common parlance, leeches. The vampiric triad, Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong, and Louis Prima, came from an online supplier of medical leeches and lived in an old glass apothecary jar filled with water from the apartment complex’s courtyard pond as well as moss and some rocks. Thin and black, they swum through the water like little eels or weird fishes. I was fascinated.

“My desire to own leeches as pets probably started with having a pet snail named Willy, who resided in a gold gilded terrarium on my dining room table,” Jessie told me. “When Willy passed into the Great Mollusk Beyond I wondered what could possibly fill the space in my life and on my table. Clearly the best option to match the Haunted Victorian Brothel-esque decor in my home was a fancy glass jar full of tiny Lochness Monsters. They are magic to watch as they slither through their mossy water like speckled black ribbons. Even if I don’t choose to apply them topically they have certainly done wonders to relieve my anxiety as I stare into their  miniature murky depths. Consider me a Leech Lady for life!”

Several weeks later I have two pet leeches of my own, who I christened Jack and Jessie after their reluctant godparents. They arrived in a plastic water bottle containing some “hirudo gel” which I imagine kept them moist during the transport and I quickly moved them into my own apothecary jar, already filled with water from the same pond. (Fetched via measuring cup since I live in a house next door, which I am sure made me look very normal as I cautiously walked the overflowing cup home.) Leeches do not require any aquarium pumps or filters and eat rarely, which makes them perfect low-maintenance pets. Jessie feeds hers raw liver, while the owner of the tumblr Leech Queen — one of the few available sources of information on leeches as pets — fills sausage casings with blood special-ordered from a butcher. I decided to try feeding mine on myself. Leech therapy, right?

Though hirudotherapy dates back to 800 BC, what usually comes to mind when we picture it is the practice of “balancing the humors.” (The four humors, by the way, are blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. Totally legit.) In 1831, Manchester Royal Infirmary used 50,000 leeches to treat ailing patients! Just because the theory behind blood-letting was debunked, however, doesn’t mean the practice holds no modern medical value. Leech bites encourage circulation and along with anesthetics, leeches inject anti-coagulants when they feed — this means leech therapy can prevent blood clots and help reattach partially-amputated fingers. Pharmaceutical drugs treating hypertension, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and arthritis have been made using chemicals from leech saliva.

Leech feeding

With a pair of forceps, I plucked one of my leeches out of its jar and set it on my forearm. I had read that they seek out pressure points and, sure enough, it quickly latched onto one of my arm’s trouble areas. Though I’m a skeptic, my personal philosophy leans very yolo; why the hell not, I figured. Better circulation and no trip to the grocery store to interact awkwardly with a confused butcher! The bite itself did not hurt much. There was a slight burning, and it felt like something between a bug bite and the first second of a flu shot. After feeding for thirty or forty minutes the previously thin, eel-like leech had plumped up to the size of a small slug and detached, rolling off onto my bed. I plopped it back into its jar and quickly dabbed the wound with a tissue.

The tissue wasn’t enough; I eventually rubber-banded folded paper towels to my arm, changing them out every half an hour until finally, maybe six hours later, I was able to keep the blood-flow contained with a mere bandaid. I attempted to feed the second leech as well, but it wasn’t hungry and crawled up and down my arms and legs, curious but unenthused about the Vatomsky buffet. Its movements were wormlike, which isn’t what I expected but makes perfect sense as leeches are in fact a type of segmented worm: the back sucker would stay in place while the “head” and front sucker explored almost like a snake, stretching out to several inches. If it found a place it liked, the front sucker went down and the back sucker came up to join it.

Leech feeding

Back in their apothecary jar, the two leeches cuddled. Though the unfed one still swam around, the fat one lounged lazily. Occasionally, they twined around each other which, while sweet, also worried me since I knew hungry leeches could cannibalize fed leeches when kept in the same tank. Two days later, the second leech finally fed. The spot it chose was by my elbow on the outside of my forearm, and the feeding took over an hour before it detached, causing me to miss brunch. I texted a photo of the leech to the friend I was meeting along with the text “running late.” “WTF,” my friend replied. This time, the blood-flow was significantly less dramatic; I soaked through only two or three strips of paper towel before switching to a bandaid. I’m guessing both the suck-length (official term I just invented) and bleeding were due to that area having poorer circulation.

Currently, both leeches are nestled safely in their jar. I switched out their old water for new pond water, as it can grow murky when they shed their skins or are stressed. Leeches can be reused for hirudotherapy as soon as 5 days after, though they can live up to a year between meals. I will probably feed mine once a month, which is what Introverted Biologist, one of the few other leech-owners I could find online, does with her leech Vlad. Since leeches are hermaphroditic it’s possible mine will produce a joyous bundle of bouncing leech babies in the spring, though breeding is unlikely in captivity. In either case, I’m delighted to welcome them into my home.

Leeches in jar

Note: if you are interested in procuring leeches as pets, please, please do your research and plan to take care of them. While they are low-maintenance, they are living creatures and deserve to be treated well for the duration of their life. Not all leeches will feed on liver or other purchased meats, and feeding them on yourself poses a risk of infection, irritation, or allergic reaction.

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Dr. Bloodsucker: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love My Pet Leech

by on Jan.16, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Leeches in jar

The other day I found myself at the home model and eccentric Jessie Lynn shares with third-generation coffin maker Jack Bennett — Jessie and I were planning to spend a few hours watching bad horror movies and drinking wine, but she also had new pets I was itching to take a peek at: hirudo medicinalis or, in common parlance, leeches. The vampiric triad, Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong, and Louis Prima, came from an online supplier of medical leeches and lived in an old glass apothecary jar filled with water from the apartment complex’s courtyard pond as well as moss and some rocks. Thin and black, they swum through the water like little eels or weird fishes. I was fascinated.

“My desire to own leeches as pets probably started with having a pet snail named Willy, who resided in a gold gilded terrarium on my dining room table,” Jessie told me. “When Willy passed into the Great Mollusk Beyond I wondered what could possibly fill the space in my life and on my table. Clearly the best option to match the Haunted Victorian Brothel-esque decor in my home was a fancy glass jar full of tiny Lochness Monsters. They are magic to watch as they slither through their mossy water like speckled black ribbons. Even if I don’t choose to apply them topically they have certainly done wonders to relieve my anxiety as I stare into their  miniature murky depths. Consider me a Leech Lady for life!”

Several weeks later I have two pet leeches of my own, who I christened Jack and Jessie after their reluctant godparents. They arrived in a plastic water bottle containing some “hirudo gel” which I imagine kept them moist during the transport and I quickly moved them into my own apothecary jar, already filled with water from the same pond. (Fetched via measuring cup since I live in a house next door, which I am sure made me look very normal as I cautiously walked the overflowing cup home.) Leeches do not require any aquarium pumps or filters and eat rarely, which makes them perfect low-maintenance pets. Jessie feeds hers raw liver, while the owner of the tumblr Leech Queen — one of the few available sources of information on leeches as pets — fills sausage casings with blood special-ordered from a butcher. I decided to try feeding mine on myself. Leech therapy, right?

Though hirudotherapy dates back to 800 BC, what usually comes to mind when we picture it is the practice of “balancing the humors.” (The four humors, by the way, are blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. Totally legit.) In 1831, Manchester Royal Infirmary used 50,000 leeches to treat ailing patients! Just because the theory behind blood-letting was debunked, however, doesn’t mean the practice holds no modern medical value. Leech bites encourage circulation and along with anesthetics, leeches inject anti-coagulants when they feed — this means leech therapy can prevent blood clots and help reattach partially-amputated fingers. Pharmaceutical drugs treating hypertension, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and arthritis have been made using chemicals from leech saliva.

Leech feeding

With a pair of forceps, I plucked one of my leeches out of its jar and set it on my forearm. I had read that they seek out pressure points and, sure enough, it quickly latched onto one of my arm’s trouble areas. Though I’m a skeptic, my personal philosophy leans very yolo; why the hell not, I figured. Better circulation and no trip to the grocery store to interact awkwardly with a confused butcher! The bite itself did not hurt much. There was a slight burning, and it felt like something between a bug bite and the first second of a flu shot. After feeding for thirty or forty minutes the previously thin, eel-like leech had plumped up to the size of a small slug and detached, rolling off onto my bed. I plopped it back into its jar and quickly dabbed the wound with a tissue.

The tissue wasn’t enough; I eventually rubber-banded folded paper towels to my arm, changing them out every half an hour until finally, maybe six hours later, I was able to keep the blood-flow contained with a mere bandaid. I attempted to feed the second leech as well, but it wasn’t hungry and crawled up and down my arms and legs, curious but unenthused about the Vatomsky buffet. Its movements were wormlike, which isn’t what I expected but makes perfect sense as leeches are in fact a type of segmented worm: the back sucker would stay in place while the “head” and front sucker explored almost like a snake, stretching out to several inches. If it found a place it liked, the front sucker went down and the back sucker came up to join it.

Leech feeding

Back in their apothecary jar, the two leeches cuddled. Though the unfed one still swam around, the fat one lounged lazily. Occasionally, they twined around each other which, while sweet, also worried me since I knew hungry leeches could cannibalize fed leeches when kept in the same tank. Two days later, the second leech finally fed. The spot it chose was by my elbow on the outside of my forearm, and the feeding took over an hour before it detached, causing me to miss brunch. I texted a photo of the leech to the friend I was meeting along with the text “running late.” “WTF,” my friend replied. This time, the blood-flow was significantly less dramatic; I soaked through only two or three strips of paper towel before switching to a bandaid. I’m guessing both the suck-length (official term I just invented) and bleeding were due to that area having poorer circulation.

Currently, both leeches are nestled safely in their jar. I switched out their old water for new pond water, as it can grow murky when they shed their skins or are stressed. Leeches can be reused for hirudotherapy as soon as 5 days after, though they can live up to a year between meals. I will probably feed mine once a month, which is what Introverted Biologist, one of the few other leech-owners I could find online, does with her leech Vlad. Since leeches are hermaphroditic it’s possible mine will produce a joyous bundle of bouncing leech babies in the spring, though breeding is unlikely in captivity. In either case, I’m delighted to welcome them into my home.

Leeches in jar

Note: if you are interested in procuring leeches as pets, please, please do your research and plan to take care of them. While they are low-maintenance, they are living creatures and deserve to be treated well for the duration of their life. Not all leeches will feed on liver or other purchased meats, and feeding them on yourself poses a risk of infection, irritation, or allergic reaction.

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Sam’s Semi-Annual Closet Cleanout

by on Jan.15, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Disco Witch Vintage

Hello friends! I’ve started my semi-annual closet clean out, and dug deeeeeppppp this time. I moved just before the holiday season, and unearthed some frocks that have been packed away but deserve to be loved and flaunted.

P8-1

All of my listings are currently on the Depop app (available for iPhones and Androids), which is my favorite way to sell my gently used clothing! It has a social media platform built into it, so you can add your friends and follow your favorite sellers. My user name there is @DiscoWitch, and I’ll be adding more throughout the next few weeks, be sure to follow me!

cathedral_bw_web_5

1406147277_ytytyut

51f94dc815ca99676bf9e56da27f445f

P8-2

3888be1c66bb41f91843748c5f2e80d7

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Sam’s Semi-Annual Closet Cleanout

by on Jan.15, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Disco Witch Vintage

Hello friends! I’ve started my semi-annual closet clean out, and dug deeeeeppppp this time. I moved just before the holiday season, and unearthed some frocks that have been packed away but deserve to be loved and flaunted.

P8-1

All of my listings are currently on the Depop app (available for iPhones and Androids), which is my favorite way to sell my gently used clothing! It has a social media platform built into it, so you can add your friends and follow your favorite sellers. My user name there is @DiscoWitch, and I’ll be adding more throughout the next few weeks, be sure to follow me!

cathedral_bw_web_5

1406147277_ytytyut

51f94dc815ca99676bf9e56da27f445f

P8-2

3888be1c66bb41f91843748c5f2e80d7

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Death: A Graveside Companion

by on Jan.09, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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Death: A Graveside Companionx

Morbid Anatomy’s Joanna Ebenstein released her latest book, Death: A Graveside Companion, this past October. Containing nearly 400 pages of essays and over 1,000 images, tracing humankind’s attempts to imagine and that great, inevitable unknown mystery of human life: namely, death.

Death: A Graveside Companion

From the Morbid Anatomy blog:

The book features 19 essays by a broad variety of thinkers that will be familar to readers of this blog, including Mel Gordon (author of Voluptuous Panic and Grand Guiginol), Michael Sappol (formerly of the National Library of Medicine), Mark Pilkington of Strange Attractor, cultural critic Mark Dery, and John Troyer of the Centre for Death and Society. Essays cover topics ranging from paintings created via channeling the spirits of the dead to eros and thanatos (sex and death) to 19th century horror theater to anatomized figures of Jesus Christ crafted for unknown purposes in 17th century Europe; See below for a full list of contributors and eessays.

Death: A Graveside Companion is available now at a bookstore near you or at Amazon.

Death: A Graveside Companion

p. 297

Death: A Graveside Companion

p. 123 p. 123
p. 38 bottom right

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

Death: A Graveside Companion

Death: A Graveside Companion

Death: A Graveside Companion

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

p. 65 top

Death A Graveside Companion jacket

Images courtesy Thames and Hudson publishers and Samantha Macabre.

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What Whisper A Needle Makes: The Creations of Elsa Olssen/Fevernest

by on Jan.04, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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fevernest collar

Goats that gracefully gambol across a waistline, miniature moths fluttering about one’s throat, delicate alpine flora blooming across an expanse of  vintage lace–these are just a few of the eerie, elegant motifs one might find adorning both the artwork and clothing stitched by the patient, gentle hand of textile artist Elsa Olsson, aka Fevernest.

fevernest goat belt

fevernest pendnt

After studying textiles for a number of years and learning a multitude of varying embroidery and weaving techniques, it was cross stitch that Elsa returned to, again and again. “The challenge,” she confides, “lies not in the technique itself, but more in the patience that it requires.” She enjoys the slowness and precision of the craft, the building of patterns in tiny pixels– a timeless method of building shapes and figures. In in a world where so many things are reliant upon speed and efficiency, Elsa emphasizes, it is both grounding and meditative for her to work as slow as possible, instead.

fevernest goat collar

Noting cinematic influences, Elsa is inspired by silent films for their creative play with silhouettes and shapes, as well as, old horror movies, costume dramas and psychological thrillers for their somber moodiness. “When I work with larger pieces that are not clothing” she fancifully divulges, “I often find inspiration in older/antique objects; my mind wanders off to what their story is, who the previous owner/owners were, and what tale the object would tell if it could speak.”

Fevernest blouse

fevernest claw dress

fevernest camisole

I am especially captivated by the beautiful vintage dresses onto which Elsa’s exquisite embellishments bestow new life–each garment seems to rustle and whisper with myriad haunted secrets and memories. A self-described “hard-core perfectionist”, she tells me that a  great deal of time goes into searching for objects and garments to use for her work, and that she prefers to use second-hand and vintage pieces for environmental and humane reasons. Working on linen, cotton, and viscose, she favors shapes and pieces that are timeless and quite simple to begin with, when planning out how to enrich these charming gowns with her cunning designs. And further, she declares…

 I want the people who wear these pieces to feel beautiful, strong, and empowered in them!

fevernest spider cauldron

fevernest collar 3

Elsa’s Instagram account is awash witha gorgeously restrained sense of elegance and tender grace: shadowy and dusky-hued photos of her artful stitchery, her curiously cozy home, and her splendid furry companions. These soft, quiet moments and spaces may have been your gateway to her world of uncommon needle craft creations, as it was mine.

“I spend quite a lot of time and energy into how I present and shoot my garments, I want everything from the packaging to the photos to have the same vibe, so I am always very happy when people appreciate that! Instagram is a wonderful platform for me and I think about 95% of my customers find their way to my shop via that forum.”

When asked if she has any favorite Instagram accounts she might like to share, Elsa enthusiastically replied:

“I have also made so many friends and collaborations that have started off there. There are so many favorite accounts and people that I love following; among textile artists there are two who I really adore and admire–memorialstitches and adipocere (featured previously on Haute Hacabre). I also love lillistorm for her beautiful nature and animal photos. Two other artists that I enjoy following are goodyhoran (also featured previously) and kathleen_lolley.

fevernest cats

fevernest pillow

In 2018, Elsa has some very exciting projects coming up, and should no doubt be of great interest to those amongst you who wield a needle, yourselves! “I have been working on a book with cross stitch patterns that I hope will be finished and released before the year is over,” Elsa discloses. “It’s sort of like an old pattern book but with an occult/folkloric theme.” Now I am definitely keen to learn cross stitch, myself!

She is also looking into expanding her etsy shop with some textile prints on home interior goods, which will be a way to make some more affordable pieces as a compliment to the hand-stitched work that she offers there. Elsa hopes to have time to work on larger installation-type art, as well. She wishfully notes that it would be great to do an exhibit in the states; so far she has only shown her work in Sweden, where she resides but, she continues, “most of the people who buy from me are from USA, so it would be great to be able to bring my work there in the future… but we will see!” Elsa concludes, thoughtfully, “as an artist it is always a struggle between time and money, but I am really grateful to be where I am today and to be able to do what I do.”

Find Elsa Olssen/Fevernest: Instagram // Etsy Shop

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Exploring the Daydream Spaces of Scott Radke

by on Jan.02, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Scott Radke - Wax Wane Full

Cleveland-based artist Scott Radke creates beautifully haunting and utterly unique characters in the form of sculptures and marionettes made of wire, wood, epoxy resin, burlap, and acrylic paint. Some might be quick to describe his characters as otherworldly, but I find them perfectly at home here in this world; it’s just that they inhabit spaces most humans don’t even notice, let alone occupy. They dwell in the shadows of shadows, within the reflections of pools and puddles, or cloaked by the patterns in tree bark or sunlight filtered through leaves.

Scott Radke - Angie

Scott Radke - Angie 2

When asked to explain some of his artwork during an interview with Arrested Motion, Radke said,

“A lot of what I do is like daydreaming. If you’re a writer, I imagine you would daydream in stories and words, but mine are more image oriented — shapes, colors, animals, faces, and textures. I just clump them all together and add and subtract along the way until something feels balanced and complete.”

Scott Radke - Birth

Knowing this about Radke’s creative process, the most effective way for me to describe such exquisite creatures born of daydreams is to daydream about meeting them myself:

A firsthand encounter with one of these beings is most likely to occur in a natural setting, the wilder the better. Being alone is also essential — all alone and very quiet. Perhaps I’ve lost track of the trail while hiking in the woods or else I’m wending my way through an overgrown labyrinth. Maybe I’m out exploring some crumbling, mossy ruins in the middle of nowhere, as one does.

Scott Radke - cicadachaser

Wherever I find myself, Radke’s creatures won’t simply pop out of hiding and greet me. Instead, well aware of my presence from the moment I first set foot on their land, they carefully keep themselves out of sight. They peer out from safe shadowy spots and down from perches on high tree branches, observing me with interest to see if I merit concern or closer attention.

Scott Radke - closeup

Eventually I begin to feel like something or someone is watching me. Several times I just barely discern a presence or slight movement in the periphery of my vision, but see nothing when I turn to look, so I continue walking. Assuming Radke’s creatures find me sufficiently interesting, they’ll follow me discreetly for some time, studying me with care, taking time to determine if I’m worth approaching.

Scott Radke - Acceptance

Scott Radke - secret owl

I still can’t shake the feeling that I am not, in fact, alone, so I stop walking and stand quietly, watching the shadows and listening to the sounds of the forest as my sense of time slips away. Patience pays off as a few of them decide to make themselves visible, gradually emerging into lighter shadow and silently stealing closer. At last I can see them as all the while they continue watching me.

Scott Radke - woodspritesfollowing

Scott Radke - Yin Yang

Scott Radke - quintet

When not in some sort of animal or insect form (I believe these beings are fully capable of shape-shifting), Radke’s creatures often have simple bodies which tend to be rudimentary and small. If not a fish’s fins, bird’s talons, rabbit’s paws, or sprouting tree branches, they’re as likely to have small vestigial limbs as they are delicate elfin hands with which to gracefully gesture or tenderly wield a precious object.

Scott Radke - witchhands

Scott Radke - eggbearer

Scott Radke - corazon

My eyes are irresistibly drawn to their striking faces. Some have skin that looks more like wood, bark, or weathered stone than flesh. Their movements are sometimes so careful and slow as to be almost imperceptible. Their heads tilt and turn in an owl-like fashion as they quietly scrutinize me with shiny, coal-black eyes. Some blink slowly, some rapidly, some not at all. Meanwhile I’m doing my best to be calm and remain perfectly still.

Scott Radke - Empress detail

Scott Radke - Empress

I don’t imagine that Radke’s creatures are likely to speak to me. It’s not that I fancy them mute, but rather that speech is something reserved only for interactions with each other. Theirs is an arcane, earthy language that’s spoken softly and without hurry. For them, body language and the silences between words convey as much as words themselves.

Scott Radke - Horned Geisha

Because Radke’s creatures are so quiet, reading their facial expressions is very important. At a glance, one might find their faces quite similar to each other. Their features share a sage world-weariness or melancholy, but it’s important to examine every face carefully, because each actually has a very unique expression.

Scott Radke - precious object

Scott Radke - cocoons

Scott Radke - owl

Some are sorrowful or worried, while others wear less guarded expressions and appear inquisitive, amused, or even impish. Some have an open innocence about them that makes one hope they never experience the wider world beyond their wild environs.

Scott Radke - spiralsprites

Scott Radke - witt2

Whatever their facial expression, it’s clear that these beings are keepers of primeval wisdom. They are also keepers of secrets, both secrets that are theirs alone and confidences whispered to them by strangers such as myself. If I am very lucky, eventually one of these mysterious beings will decide to approach me directly.

Scott Radke - wingedwitchturns

They draw very close and look deep into my eyes, silently daring me to look away, if not flee outright. If I don’t, if I am able to stand my ground and hold their enigmatic gaze, then they will lean in even closer still and cock their head to the side, wordlessly extending the invitation of a patient and receptive ear.

Scott Radke - listener

I take a slow, deep breath, close my eyes, and begin to share my secret. I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m going to say until the words leave my lips, almost of their own accord – as though my secret is being drawn out of me by the very presence of Scott Radke’s rare and wondrous creatures.

Scott Radke - Celeste detail

Scott Radke - Snow Witch

Thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign run by Kasra Ghanbari in 2015, Scott Radke’s first book has just been published. Scott Radke: Antumbra is a limited edition monograph covering his work from 1995 to 2015. The book is now available for pre-order, to be shipped in January 2018. Every copy pre-ordered before January 5, 2018 will come with a signed/embossed print and a signed/numbered signature plate.

Find Scott Radke: Website // Instagram //Facebook // Twitter // YouTube

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Exploring the Daydream Spaces of Scott Radke

by on Jan.02, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Scott Radke - Wax Wane Full

Cleveland-based artist Scott Radke creates beautifully haunting and utterly unique characters in the form of sculptures and marionettes made of wire, wood, epoxy resin, burlap, and acrylic paint. Some might be quick to describe his characters as otherworldly, but I find them perfectly at home here in this world; it’s just that they inhabit spaces most humans don’t even notice, let alone occupy. They dwell in the shadows of shadows, within the reflections of pools and puddles, or cloaked by the patterns in tree bark or sunlight filtered through leaves.

Scott Radke - Angie

Scott Radke - Angie 2

When asked to explain some of his artwork during an interview with Arrested Motion, Radke said,

“A lot of what I do is like daydreaming. If you’re a writer, I imagine you would daydream in stories and words, but mine are more image oriented — shapes, colors, animals, faces, and textures. I just clump them all together and add and subtract along the way until something feels balanced and complete.”

Scott Radke - Birth

Knowing this about Radke’s creative process, the most effective way for me to describe such exquisite creatures born of daydreams is to daydream about meeting them myself:

A firsthand encounter with one of these beings is most likely to occur in a natural setting, the wilder the better. Being alone is also essential — all alone and very quiet. Perhaps I’ve lost track of the trail while hiking in the woods or else I’m wending my way through an overgrown labyrinth. Maybe I’m out exploring some crumbling, mossy ruins in the middle of nowhere, as one does.

Scott Radke - cicadachaser

Wherever I find myself, Radke’s creatures won’t simply pop out of hiding and greet me. Instead, well aware of my presence from the moment I first set foot on their land, they carefully keep themselves out of sight. They peer out from safe shadowy spots and down from perches on high tree branches, observing me with interest to see if I merit concern or closer attention.

Scott Radke - closeup

Eventually I begin to feel like something or someone is watching me. Several times I just barely discern a presence or slight movement in the periphery of my vision, but see nothing when I turn to look, so I continue walking. Assuming Radke’s creatures find me sufficiently interesting, they’ll follow me discreetly for some time, studying me with care, taking time to determine if I’m worth approaching.

Scott Radke - Acceptance

Scott Radke - secret owl

I still can’t shake the feeling that I am not, in fact, alone, so I stop walking and stand quietly, watching the shadows and listening to the sounds of the forest as my sense of time slips away. Patience pays off as a few of them decide to make themselves visible, gradually emerging into lighter shadow and silently stealing closer. At last I can see them as all the while they continue watching me.

Scott Radke - woodspritesfollowing

Scott Radke - Yin Yang

Scott Radke - quintet

When not in some sort of animal or insect form (I believe these beings are fully capable of shape-shifting), Radke’s creatures often have simple bodies which tend to be rudimentary and small. If not a fish’s fins, bird’s talons, rabbit’s paws, or sprouting tree branches, they’re as likely to have small vestigial limbs as they are delicate elfin hands with which to gracefully gesture or tenderly wield a precious object.

Scott Radke - witchhands

Scott Radke - eggbearer

Scott Radke - corazon

My eyes are irresistibly drawn to their striking faces. Some have skin that looks more like wood, bark, or weathered stone than flesh. Their movements are sometimes so careful and slow as to be almost imperceptible. Their heads tilt and turn in an owl-like fashion as they quietly scrutinize me with shiny, coal-black eyes. Some blink slowly, some rapidly, some not at all. Meanwhile I’m doing my best to be calm and remain perfectly still.

Scott Radke - Empress detail

Scott Radke - Empress

I don’t imagine that Radke’s creatures are likely to speak to me. It’s not that I fancy them mute, but rather that speech is something reserved only for interactions with each other. Theirs is an arcane, earthy language that’s spoken softly and without hurry. For them, body language and the silences between words convey as much as words themselves.

Scott Radke - Horned Geisha

Because Radke’s creatures are so quiet, reading their facial expressions is very important. At a glance, one might find their faces quite similar to each other. Their features share a sage world-weariness or melancholy, but it’s important to examine every face carefully, because each actually has a very unique expression.

Scott Radke - precious object

Scott Radke - cocoons

Scott Radke - owl

Some are sorrowful or worried, while others wear less guarded expressions and appear inquisitive, amused, or even impish. Some have an open innocence about them that makes one hope they never experience the wider world beyond their wild environs.

Scott Radke - spiralsprites

Scott Radke - witt2

Whatever their facial expression, it’s clear that these beings are keepers of primeval wisdom. They are also keepers of secrets, both secrets that are theirs alone and confidences whispered to them by strangers such as myself. If I am very lucky, eventually one of these mysterious beings will decide to approach me directly.

Scott Radke - wingedwitchturns

They draw very close and look deep into my eyes, silently daring me to look away, if not flee outright. If I don’t, if I am able to stand my ground and hold their enigmatic gaze, then they will lean in even closer still and cock their head to the side, wordlessly extending the invitation of a patient and receptive ear.

Scott Radke - listener

I take a slow, deep breath, close my eyes, and begin to share my secret. I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m going to say until the words leave my lips, almost of their own accord – as though my secret is being drawn out of me by the very presence of Scott Radke’s rare and wondrous creatures.

Scott Radke - Celeste detail

Scott Radke - Snow Witch

Thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign run by Kasra Ghanbari in 2015, Scott Radke’s first book has just been published. Scott Radke: Antumbra is a limited edition monograph covering his work from 1995 to 2015. The book is now available for pre-order, to be shipped in January 2018. Every copy pre-ordered before January 5, 2018 will come with a signed/embossed print and a signed/numbered signature plate.

Find Scott Radke: Website // Instagram //Facebook // Twitter // YouTube

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Haute Macabre Shop Open

by on Dec.31, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

The Haute Macabre Shop is now open and restocked with our beloved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post collections. Quantities of each item are limited, but they are in stock and ready to ship.

Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Cemetery Collection: Mummies of Mexico City

Mummies of Mexico City contains notes of  church incense, ornate gold, old lace, and dust. A sacred, secret scent, recalling residual whispers of incense settling into the ancient, forgotten dust. (available as both a fragrance and a hair gloss)

Esbat by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab exclusively for Haute Macabre

Esbat: The silent rays of the full moon piercing the shadows of an ancient grove: a ragged canopy of moonflower and morning glory, dew-touched mosses creeping over gnarled oak roots, and shimmering beams of mugwort, cuckoo flower, and rose mallow.

Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Laurel Hill

Laurel Hill: Mountain laurel petals limned in pale pink settling among boughs of hemlock, soft mosses, and dark lichens.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Haute Macabre Cemetery Collection

St Louis #1: Drooping Spanish moss and crumbling marble, sweet olive blossom, 13-year aged black patchouli, and offerings of Bay Rum, Florida water, and tobacco

Burying Point: Damp clusters of brown patchouli, dried maple leaves, black sage, spikenard, and curled, misshapen mandrake roots. (available as both a fragrance and a hair gloss)

Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Haute MacabreOak leaf, bourbon vanilla, almond husk, and black leather accord darkened by a 13-year aged black patchouli. 

Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

As Above: Leather drenched with white patchouli, oak bark, bourbon vanilla, bitter almond, and Moroccan jasmine.

So Below: Amber and black copal with black coconut, Sumatran red patchouli, green cardamom pod, and golden musk. (available as both a fragrance and a hair gloss)

Click here to visit the Haute Macabre Shop

 

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