Happy Hogmanay!

Here’s my year-end wrap-up, mostly so I don’t skate over accomplishments: it’s easy to feel like you haven’t done much when you don’t keep track. Of course there are things not on this list because they haven’t come out yet (Hire Idiots, Mangled, My Wandering Uterus) or because they don’t have tangible results (e.g. application for full professor, submissions to various things). But there is more than I thought:

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Respectable Horror Fox Spirit Books, 2017.

“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 3 – Swan.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 3, 31 Dec 2017.

“Do Anything You Wanna Do.” Spelk: 29 Dec 2017.

“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 2 – Frost.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 2, 30 Nov 2017.

“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 1 – Love.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 1, 31 Oct 2017.

“Spirits in the Night.” Short story. Spelk Fiction, 2 Jun 2017.

“Copped It.” A Twist of Noir. 27 Mar 2017.

“Repetition.” Short story. Spelk Fiction, 20 Feb 2017.

“Somewhere in Slovenia.” (as Graham Wynd) Short story. Near to the Knuckle, 8 Feb 2017.

“These Toys are for Tough Boys.” Featured short story. Alibi-Fest.com, 5 Feb 2017.

“Bloody Collage.”Short story (as Graham WyndPulp Metal Magazine, January 2017.

“Chaucer and the Art of the Grift.” Empty Mirror 24 Nov 2017.

“Midwesterner in Exile.” Mystery Readers Journal 33.1 (Spring 2017): 51-2.

History Witch for Witches & Pagans:

Winter Crone

Medieval Consolations

Getting Medieval

Dangerous Fairy Women

Midsummer: Watch Out for Fairies!

Elf Shot in Scotland

Riding with Nicnevin

Charm for Weaving

A Headache in Medieval Scotland

A Meditation on Winter

UPDATE: Also, as I believe Simon reminded me on Twitter, there were the (I think) 34 entries for the serial, The Height of Absurditytoo! A not insubstantial output!

 

What’s ahead in 2018? More of everything! I have many plans, of course. Not all of them are writing either. One cool thing I should mention: The SpeakEasy dames are happy to announce we’ll be curators for one week [Monday, February 6 – Sunday, February 11] of Ione’s Annual Dream Festival (23rd Annual). Go like their page to get in on the exploration of imagination.

Dream big! Chase that muse wherever it leads you —

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Remedios Varo – Exploración de las Fuentes del Río Orinoco, 1959.

NYC with the QoE

It was nice to get away for a day even though I’m still ailing and still behind on a lot of things. You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging as much lately. Maybe there’s not much to say. I can show you things though: like this fabulous day. Our main objective was to catch the Mystical Symbolism exhibit at the Guggenheim but we managed to fit in some other wanderings as well. Oodles more photos on the ‘book.

Metamorphoses: Medusa

Witches: September Gallery

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September Gallery via their Facebook page

Sometimes living in hipsterville has its benefits: September Gallery is definitely one of them. They only opened last year but they’ve already won a fan in me with this show. Witches brings together a variety of powerful works by women. Marjorie Cameron‘s name drew me in, but there were other pleasures to enjoy. It was wonderful to see her drawings up close and marvel at her fine lines and free compositions. Stunning and powerful.

Her work was surrounded by contemporary artists animated by the same questing spirit. Laurel Sparks describes her work a kind of sigil magic, overlaying a dizzying array of colours, textures and materials in her Magic Square series. They sparked some ideas in me. Rosy Keyser’s work likewise mixes materials and colour but in a more abstract way. I loved her Terrestial Mime which hangs materials on a wooden grid with wild layers of paint. It feels like the work behind a painting made visible, a sort of swirl of anarchic energy summoned.

Marianne Vitale’s Very Fine Gander has a whimsical charm, like toys made giant — but charred, too. So there’s also a feeling of something horrible gone wrong. There’s a great description of it in the exhibit essay by Susan Aberth (who wrote that fabulous book on Leonora Carrington — but argh! ‘The Burning Times’ and the Middle Ages are not synonymous. The height of the witch hunts was the 16th-17th centuries: the Early MODERN era).

I was absolutely bowled over by Anna Betbeze’s untitled sculpture of burnt objects on a rug. It felt like an artefact from the past, like a fire that consumed the witch who summoned it or what was left of the village after a curse. Like her piece Howl the literalisation of burning anger feels great.

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” ― Maya Angelou 

Best of all, the show culminated in a performance night last Saturday. I arrived to find the place in darkness as it had already begun (so much for being fashionably late). Melinda Kiefer led the audience in an opening ritual “to create [a] sacred yet wacky” atmosphere. Then the fabulous Pam Grossman (who probably alerted me to this show via her blog Phantasmaphile) gave a short version of her talk on the image of the witch in art. She was the organising genius behind the Occult Humanities Conference and exhibit last year that’s still resonating loudly in my head. I was glad we had a chance to chat afterward.

Shanekia McIntosh gave a wonderful performance with amazing code switching in a story about her family and the power of premonitions. There was an interesting Sonic Sigil piece, an invocation and prayer to Hecate by Sarah Falkner, Rebecca Wolff and Jonathan Osofsky (I liked the use of flags). The band Dust Bowl Faeries performed and wow! I was sharing pictures from their show with the Folk Horror Revival group because I knew people would dig it:

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They’re playing Helsinki Hudson on the 7th of May. Be there!

Laurel Sparks wrapped up the evening with a performance that had us back in the dark while she paced a circle around us, reading from huge slabs and then painting herself in dayglo colours with a kind of ritual precision that managed to be both humorous and compelling without ever giving in to the over-seriousness that performance pieces can fall prey to. All in all a fantastic evening.

Frances Walker @ the McManus

Always a delight to visit the McManus Galleries in Dundee. I visit my favourites like Rossetti’s Dante’s Dream and usually the Sidhe Riders though that seems to be wandering again. I’m always interested, too, in seeing what’s new. There’s a terrific drawing exhibit on with a wide variety of images and styles called Draw the Line: Old Masters to the Beano. There’s also a showcase of new acquisitions which included someone who just bowled me over completely: Frances Walker.

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This is just a glimpse and probably cannot convey how utterly stunning these landscapes of Antarctica are or how agog the prints she made as cards will render you but trust me. If you are in the area, you need to see these. Absolutely breathtaking! I swear they made the room colder by putting you into the glacial waters. Her diary in the case made me want to break the glass and flip through it to see everything through her eyes. The exhibit catalogue (which I guess is actually from the original showing in Aberdeen) also has her paintings of the islands in the west, especially Skye but also Orkney so I must have it — and was heartbroken they didn’t have it in the shop (though apparently they’re trying to get it).

Absolutely amazing that she gave the paintings to the McManus:

Frances Walker is acknowledged as one of Scotland’s finest artists. Inspired by wild and remote places, she captures the edges of civilisation – scenes of rugged coastlines and craggy beaches. She had long wanted to visit the Antarctic and realised her ambition after being presented with the James McBey Travel Award in 2007. The result is a series of paintings in which she evokes the dramatic icescapes of Antarctica. It is the most significant gift by an artist to Dundee’s nationally significant fine art collection for over 25 years.

Here are a couple videos. I cannot tell you how much I love her work. I need more!

 

What Does ‘Home’ Sound Like?

Although I spent most of my ‘spring break’ catching up on work, I did do a couple of fun things. You already know about the fab trip to the city with Stephanie, but I also attended a field recording workshop sponsored by local community radio WGXC and run by Max Goldfarb. Check out his projects: he’s done some cool stuff. And if you haven’t visited the Wave Farm yet — especially Zach Poff’s Pond Station, do!

And I am so glad I did! It really kicked up my interests from idle meandering thoughts to something concrete — well, virtual but done. At least one take is done (tinkering can go on forever).

How to describe this? You know the Odorifics scene from Harold & Maude? Scents that put you in a place and time. I wanted to do that aurally to give a sound experience of what it’s like here at the Hudson house so I made this soundscape to give anyone that experience. If you’ve sat on the porch here, it may seem familiar. Put on your headphones, close your eyes and let it surround you.

Of course I’ll make one for Dundee as well. Screaming gulls and blackbirds mostly. That way you can put yourself there, too. And maybe a third one on the road because that’s where I spend a lot of my time, too.

Oh, and Happy St Urho’s Day — another fabulous SL Johnson image. Buy her art on all the things.

St Urho Hopper

Occult Art & the Language of Birds

Yes, I am going to write up the Occult Humanities conference when I get a moment, but apparently today is not that day. So here are some of the paintings in the Language of Birds exhibit at NYU’s 80WSE gallery that really knocked me out. There was so much more!

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Leonora Carrington’s El Nigromante [The Necromancer]

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Leonor Fini’s Le Carrefour d’hecate

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Alison Blickle’s New Keys

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Juanita Guccione’s Three Women and Three Owls

See a bunch of the artworks here.