Friday, December 24, 2010

less terrifying than Krampus

A hilarious tale of Christmas horror by Ryan Iverson, inspired by Warner Herzog. {via bioephemera, via iO9}.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Snow Queen

illustration by Miss Clara for La Reine des glaces Hans Christian Andersen, ed. Gautier-Languereau

Andersen, Hans Christian. Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales. Milo Winter, illustrator. Valdemar Paulsen, translator. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, [c1916].

The Snow Queen by Debra McFarlane
The Pink Fairy Book
etching with aquatint

Art direction by Marcel Wanders and photography by Nicole Marnati. (via)

Illustration by Edmund Dulac for The Snow Queen By Hans Christian Andersen

You can read an annotated version of the Snow Queen Fairytale on Sur La Lune Fairytales. I watched Black Swan recently, which made me wonder about why the Snow Queen is depicted with geese (not swans?). Perhaps it was the deceptive mirrors which reminded me of the Snow Queen. I was thinking about her connection to the White Queen in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The White Queen, who has a wintry realm (as the Snow Queen), also drives a sleigh and kidnaps a boy. In the Narnia books, she is later revealed as a descendant of Adam's first wife Lilith, made from earth like him, rather than a rib. Lilith claimed to be his equal and refused to submit to him. She appears in Jewish mythology. Her history is messy (from ancient Sumeria, through the Pre-Rafealites, wiccans, to modern feminist theory), debated and beyond my ken. Some claim her to be a daimon, succubus, a night spirit, screech owl or a conversely subverted mother goddess. C.S. Lewis' Lilith is half-djinn half-giantess. Like Lilith, the White Queen is the first to rebel, which makes for a particularly interesting, if loaded villain.

A young girl must travel to Svalbard (like The Snow Queen's Spitsbergen) to rescue a kidnapped boy, as in The Snow Queen, in The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights) by Philip Pullman. Incidentally, Pullman was no fan of the Narnia books. He lambastes him for sexism, racism, manipulative use of Christian imagery and rejection of sexuality (particularly in women like Susan, the adolescent who wants to grow up, but this ties clearly to Lilith as well). I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia seven times before the age of 12, and while I did think Lewis a good story teller - in fact, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was what first inspired me to read in English - as I grew older I did think that some of Lewis' ideas and theology insidiously seeped into my subconscious while I was unaware. The idea of not allowing a young woman to mature, or to embrace her sexuality, brings us full circle back to Black Swan. I wonder if I would have been a different sort of young person had I read His Dark Materials, rather than The Chronicles of Narnia.

One of the things that does attract me to The Snow Queen, is that for once, a little girl rescues a little boy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Girl with Owl

Michael Shapcott
The Girl and the Owl
24” x 30”
Graphite / Acrylic / Oil on Canvas

Lauren Carney
Artliner Pen and Watercolour on 300gsm Watercolour Card

Audrey Kawasaki
Oil on canvas 30x22
'Ephemera' @ Nucleus Gallery

new moon
Dilka Bear
New Moon

Dilka Bear
Emily and the Owl

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Glass Wunderkammer

Danish artist Steffen Dam works wonders in glass to create masterful, luminuous art, like glass wunderkammer (or cabinets of curiousity). His subject matter are precisely what every wunderkammer collector would want: botanicals, bottled marine creatures including jellyfish, fossils, egg specimens, though these specimens have been gathered from within his own mind, inspired but not dictated by natural history. This creative area where art meets science is where I want to live. They make me wish I knew how to work in glass.

Biological Panel, blue. 2009.

The secret life of plants. 2006.

SMALL BOX 2. 2010.
glass/wood/lighting fixture
12 X 12 X 9 in. (30.48 X 30.48 X 22.86 cm)

12 JARS. 2009.
14 3/4 X 41 X 9 3/4 inches

Marine Group. Commision for The Museum of Art and Design. New York, NY, USA.

19 X 35 X 8 in. (48.26 X 88.9 X 20.32 cm)

EGG BLOCK. 2010.
8 1/2 X 14 X 1 1/2 in. (21.59 X 35.56 X 3.81 cm)

Find more wonderous things at his site or at theHeller Gallery {via Lady Lavona's Cabinet of Curiosities}

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wanderlust & Colour Shards

Yes, the crystalline shapes in bold colours are still definitely in. Can't go wrong with forest creatures, like foxes and owls, or fungi. Little houses go over well. We've seen these elements before, but there's something magic in LA artist Linda Kim's work. Check it out.

Wanderlust, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16"

The Fountain, acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8"

Sleepy Town, gouache on rives bfk, 22 x 16.5"

In search of, drawing

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

-John McCrae, 1919

Friday, October 29, 2010


Albany-based photographer and professor Phyllis Galembo is fascinated with masks and costumes. She has spent twenty years documenting rituals and religious in Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti as well as Hallowe'en costumes at home. Thinking about Hallowe'en today, I'll share some of her photos of other sorts of 'ritual adornment'. Why is it that almost all people, have masks and costumes, and that these have ritual and meaning? Are we scared of things which go bump in the night, or do we want a turn playing their role, assuming their power?

Phyllis Galembo, OtogheToghe, Aromgba Village, Nigeria, 2005, Ilfochrome, 50 x 50 inches

Phyllis Galembo, Ekpodo masquerade dance, Christmas dance, Alok Village, Cross River, Nigeria, 2004

Phyllis Galembo, Baby Dance of Etikpe, Cross River, Nigeria, 2004

Phyllis Galembo, Zambia, 2007

Phyllis Galembo, Zambia, 2007

Phyllis Galembo, Zambia, 2007

Phyllis Galembo, Zambia, 2007

Phyllis Galembo, Akata Dance Masqueraders, Ogoja, Nigeria, 2004, Ilfochrome, 30 x 30 inches

Phyllis Galembo, Gelede Masquerade, Agonli-Houegbo Village, Benin, 2006, Ilfochrome, 30 x 30 inches

Phyllis Galembo, Masquerade from Gossina Village, Burkina Faso, 2006, Ilfochrome, 30 x 30 inches

Her portfolios are extensive. Do yourself a favour and go peruse them (via Le Divan Fumoir Bohémien).

German photographer Thorsten Brinkmann sort of does the converse. Rather than travelling the world, documenting the ritual adornment of its multifarious cultures, he takes photos of himself, adorned ritually in everyday objects - to much the same effect.

Thorsten Brinkmann, „Reginald von Eckhelm“, 2010 © Thorsten Brinkmann,

Thorsten Brinkmann: "Venus del Whitespitz", 2008. C-Print, Edition 5 + 2 AP, 125 x 170 cm

Thorsten Brinkmann: "Inuk N unavut", 2006. C-Print, Edition 3 + 2 A, 115 x 154 cm

Thorsten Brinkmann: "Conde du Mütz", 2008. C-Print, Edition 5 + 2 AP 83 x 62 cm

Thorsten Brinkmann: "Karl Schrank von Gaul", 2008. C-Print, Edition 5 + 2 AP, 170 x 120 cm

(via TeenAngster)

My own interest in masks is celebrated today, in the spirit of Hallowe'en, by the latest in the rikrak studio's The Collectors series

Mask Collection

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Heads or Tails?

In time for Hallowe'en, I thought I'd bring you some illustrated mask-wearing personages, and dismembered body parts. Vancouver-based artist and illustrator Andrew Pommier draws and paints men who are ready for the worst. The may be wearing masks, or animal heads, dealing with ferocious pandas, or turning into trees, or be slouching through life carrying skulls.

"Hanging with the Gang" oil on wood 20" x 14" 2008

"Ready for the Worst" acrylic and graphite on wood 24" x 36" 2007

"Coming Upon a Scene of Carnage" acrylic and graphite on wood 20" x 24" 2008

"Fan Boy" oil on wood 20" x 24" December 2008

"Souvenirs from the Voyage" acrylic and graphite on wood 20" x 24" 2008

"Dinosaur Head" watercolour, ink, and graphite on paper 8.5" x 11" 2007

"Rabbit Head" watercolour, ink, and graphite on paper 8.5" x 11" 2006

Monday, October 25, 2010

Riding the Dodo and the Folk-Singing Wolf

Check out the illustrations of Melburn Australia's Genna Campton. She plays with scale, includes animals, fashion illustration, a hint of surreality and references Bob Dylan - what's not to love?

dodo races (2009)

chincilla (2009)

rooster greenstripes (2009)

peacock (2009)

wolf dylan (2009)

Find her site, blog and etsy shop at these links.

(via frankie magazine)


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