Tag Archive: alison brierley


“Shamanic Vulture & Snake Smudger”

Eurasian Black Vulture Feather

Eurasian Black Vulture feather, recycled leather lacing and ribbons and Burmese Python vertebrae

 (Completed in 2016)

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“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

The goal of smudging is to make a place (or person) clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space.

Using smoke and burning herbs has been used for this reason for thousands and thousands of years.

The use of a smudging tool not only directs the smoke where one wants it to go, but also introduces the particular essence and/or intent of the piece used.

Any conflict, anger, illness or unhealthy intent is absorbed by the sage smoke for the duration, and beyond, at the time it is used.

Smudging is ritual alchemy — changing and shifting the air element, and transforming our current experience to a mystical one.

The sage ceremony lifts the veil between the everyday and the sacred.

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I completed this Smudger in July 2016.

It was constructed for my personal use, and to be used during the “Lost Bodies” performance with artist Nicola Hunter.

 Nicola Hunter (formerly Canavan) is the feisty artist behind the acclaimed “Raising the Skirt” projects.

This is her latest work celebrating grief as a strengthening process for the soul, a metamorphosis and a labored fight in the darkness, answering the call of the Wild Woman. This was a deeply moving and inspirational performance of an actual transition, assisted and held shamanically by me.

.

.

“Lost Bodies” was performed on The Day 3 Evening of Tempting Failure – at Theatre Utopia, Matthews Yard, Croydon.
23 July 2016

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“Shamanic Vulture & Snake Smudger”

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.

It is important to me that I know the history of everything that I use in as much detail as possible, and that it is ethically sourced.

I tend to use personally foraged animal medicines and material in my work, mostly roadkill.

In this case neither was roadkill…

the Vulture feather was found by me, and the Python used was gifted but skinned and processed by me also.

.

 Basic Vulture Symbolism

The vulture is what it is, and could care less about what you or I think about its appearance.   It moves with grace in the skies.  On land it moves with authority, as if all things are within its rightful ownership.

The vulture represents birth and death as well as new beginnings, it is effective and positive.  It represents energy – all year round.  The vulture has been connected with prophecy of the future, Love of the Mother goddess, new visions, and of course, protection.

The vulture symbol reminds one of smart work and not hard work.

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*  Sense of allegiance, Very earnest.

*  Perfectly patient, Highly tolerant.

*  Looking to renew everything, Making everybody equal.

*  Cleaning the environment, Immune to heat.

*  Acute perception, Highly protective.

*  Out of the ordinary, Overtly resourceful.

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Basic Snake Symbolism

The snake is powerfully connected to life force and primal energy. In many cultures, it is revered as a powerful totem representing the source of life. It has the ability to shed its skin and metamorphosise.

When the snake spirit animal appears in your life, it likely means that healing opportunities, change, important transitions, and increased energy are manifesting.   It offers spiritual guidance about life changes and transitions, whether they are happening at the physical, emotional or spiritual level.

Pay attention to how you use your energy, and where you draw it from.

.

*  Sense of allegiance, Very earnest.

*  Perfectly patient, Highly tolerant.

*  Looking to renew everything, Making everybody equal.

*  Cleaning the environment, Immune to heat.

*  Acute perception, Highly protective.

*  Out of the ordinary, Overtly resourceful.

.

The Python bones are threaded and knotted onto orange and yellow ribbon tassel.

Colours can have different meanings for every person, but in this context they symbolise:

ORANGE

The colour of the Sacral Chakra, creativity, emotional expression, productivity, optimism.

YELLOW

The colour of the Solar Plexus Chakra, personal power, logic, lightness, humour, intellect.

.

.

These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

.

.

.

.

There are also far more personal meanings attached to the birthing of this DRUM, RATTLEBEATER and SMUDGER as well as the obvious symbology attached to each animal used.

.

“As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to explore inwards and question preconceptions/ socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive”.

.

Additional Notes…

“Visceral and graphic yet tender and beautiful. Most importantly it was positive and affirming and showed power and perfect honesty”.

.

lost bodies 5

.

If YOU are feeling the call to strengthen your own growth process, shed your old skin and follow the call of the Wild Woman, this raw, deep-diving and deeply inspirational performance is not to be missed

‘LOST BODIES’ that was performed at TF2016 Day 3 is now a three event tour…

next showing in LEEDS (UK) on the 24th September (venue TBA).

If you comment below I will keep you posted…..

.

“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. The wildish nature comes to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped” – (Clarissa Pinkola Estes).

.

.

Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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“Shamanic Fox & Deer Drum Beater”

Fox and Deer Drum Beater

Fox leather, deer leg, fox fur and recycled leather lacing.

 (Completed in 2016)

.

“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

I completed this beater at the same time as my new Shamanic Fox drum on my birthday this Summer 2016.

I had a total stinker of a cold, even to had to cancel my birthday meal out because I couldn’t taste bugger all, lol, but I had a lovely, slightly quarantined, indulgent day, full of love, family and dear friends 💜

I also scraped enough energy together to finish my new Fox/Deer/Bat Shamanic drum and beater.  It felt important to make them on my birthday.

.

I normally use deer legs as beaters.  as well as the obvious shamanistic attributes, I find them both beautiful to look at and comfortable to hold.

.

.

Time for a quick story…

I had 5 salted foxes in storage.

I tend to use personally foraged animal medicines and material in my work.  I use a lot of roadkill.  It is important to me that I know the history of everything that I use in as much detail as possible, and that it is ethically sourced.

Two of the foxes I had in mind had specific and significant meaning – Mr. Stinky & The Titchmarsh Fox.

These were to form the main body of my new DRUM and BEATER

.

making the drum.jpg9

.

The Titchmarsh Fox…

The Titchmarsh fox was roadkill.

I was asked to cook on the Alan Titchmarsh Show in September 2014.   I didn’t have much “unusual” roadkill stock in my freezer and they wanted something sensational.  I gave them all the information and recipes they were after and we started to plan the date for the show.  They still however wanted a ‘show-stopper’ and during one particular phone call I told them that the next ‘unusual’ thing I found on the road I would cook for them… I just happened to be covering a lot of miles that day.

Then on the way home that very eve I found this FOX on the A59.

Something just didn’t feel right.  I decided to sleep on it.

Next morning I told them that I hadn’t found anything despite feeling under pressure.  I was adamant about not straying away from the ethical message and didn’t want to cut up a ‘dead dog’ on daytime telly for an unappreciative and non-understanding audience.

They were not happy with pheasant, squirrel or rabbit.  Anyway…. in the end the job didn’t happen.

Titchmarsh Fox became my drum and Mr Stinky became my Beater…

.

Mr Stinky…

Mr Stinky was NOT roadkill.

In 2012 I participated in a TV programme for the Discovery Channel – it was called “FORBIDDEN”.

I hand-picked a group of like-minded friends and we called ourselves the “Roadkill Collaborators” and we hosted the very first UK “Roadkill Food Festival”.

.

(Our contribution, Episode 7 was called “FREAKY FOODS” – first shown 11th November 2014)

.

The producers also wanted FOX on the menu. Fergus had one in his freezer, and he became known as the “Flying Fox” as the show had paid for him to be flown up to Scotland from London where he resided in a friends freezer!

…but he was frozen solid with ‘dry ice’ when he arrived and un-skin-able!

We said if we found one on the road we would happily have it on the menu.

The producers had one shot!…

We were really pissed off and threatened to cancel the rest of the filming. Shooting the fox for entertainment was the absolute antithesis of the message we were trying to convey. The film crew were incredibly embarrassed and apologised profusely on behalf of the producers.

Mr Stinky Fox as we affectionately called him did not appear on the show, but when the filming was over and the crew left, I processed both foxes myself, respectfully and peacefully.

I promised Mr Stinky that his death would not be in vain and that he would be honoured.

And I kept that promise 💜  he is both part of my new DRUM, RATTLE and also the BEATER for my drum.

.

This beautiful white “Mr. Stinky” leather was made using just water and salt.  I didn’t intend to make leather as his pelt was so plush (and stinky) but his fur slipped unexpectedly during tanning.

.

White fox leather

.

The leather formed the beater head and it was stuffed with his beautiful fur.

.

.

This entire process was deeply informative and transformational.  I have been working closely with Fox energy now for many months and I have been wearing handmade (by me) fox bone beads in my Elf Locks for the past three years!

.

 Working so intimately with these animals enables me to absorb and transmute their special essence into an energy I can work spiritually with.  Dear Fox has been a very special ally.

Thank you FOX❤

.

fox_face_eyes_grass_66412_1024x1024

.

Basic Fox Symbolism

* Physical and mental responsiveness, increased awareness
* Cunning; seeing through deception; call to be discerning
* Ability to find your way around, to be swift in tricky situations
* Affinity with nocturnal activities and dream work

.

Basic Deer Symbolism

* Gentleness, Being Sensitive and Intuitive
* Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace, ability to change directions quickly
* Being in touch with your inner child, innocence
* Vigilance, Magical ability to regenerate, being in tough with life’s mysteries.

 .

.

These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

.

.

.

.

There are also far more personal meanings attached to the birthing of this “FOX DRUM”, “GODDESS RATTLE“, “FOX BEATER” and VULTURE SMUDGER” as well as the obvious symbology attached to each animal used.

.

“As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive”.

.

Additional Notes…

“LOST BODIES”

“Visceral and graphic yet tender and beautiful. Most importantly it was positive and affirming and showed power and perfect honesty”.

.

My drum beater made its public debut during the “Lost Bodies” performance with artist Nicola Hunter (formerly Canavan).  Nicola Hunter is the feisty artist behind the acclaimed“Raising the Skirt” projects.

This is her latest work celebrating grief as a strengthening process for the soul, a metamorphosis and a labored fight in the darkness, answering the call of the Wild Woman. This was a deeply moving and inspirational performance of an actual transition, assisted and held shamanically by me.

.

Lost Bodies

.

If YOU are feeling the call to strengthen your own growth process, shed your old skin and follow the call of the Wild Woman, this raw, deep-diving and deeply inspirational performance is not to be missed

‘LOST BODIES’ that was performed at TF2016 Day 3 is now a three event tour…

next showing in LEEDS (UK) on the 24th September (venue TBA).

If you comment below I will keep you posted…..

.

“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. The wildish nature comes to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped” – (Clarissa Pinkola Estes).

.

*******************

.

“FORBIDDEN” airs on British TV!

forbidden snip

.

On September the 30th this year the DISCOVERY CHANNEL broadcast the series we took part in last year…

Originally called Extreme Worlds (working title) the series launched with the episode “Double Lives”.

 

“What is a delicacy to some can be disgusting to others. Adventurous eating is a growing fad, but these foodies take exotic to a new level. Standard fare just will not cut it for these appetites – they prefer roadkill, insects, and in some cases, dirt.  In the picturesque farmlands of New Zealand, rams’ testicles are gulped down at a food festival. In Japan, a culinary revolution is unearthed when a chef cooks with topsoil. In Scotland, a foraging family chooses a diet rich in foods from the wild – berries, mushrooms, and roadkill”.

.

*******************

.

.

Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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“Shamanic Fox, Deer & Bat Drum”

 

Fox hides and tails, deer rawhide, bat-cave crystal from Cambodia and a Scottish oak drum hoop.

 (Completed in 2016)

.

“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

I completed this drum on my birthday this Summer 2016.

I had a total stinker of a cold, even to had to cancel my birthday meal out because I couldn’t taste bugger all, lol, but I had a lovely, slightly quarantined, indulgent day, full of love, family and dear friends 💜

I also scraped enough energy together to finish my new Fox/Deer/Bat Shamanic drum.  It felt important to make it on my birthday.

.

This drum has been waiting to be birthed for many years…

.

Time for a quick story…

I had 5 salted foxes in storage.

I tend to use personally foraged animal medicines and material in my work.  I use a lot of roadkill.  It is important to me that I know the history of everything that I use in as much detail as possible, and that it is ethically sourced.

Two of the foxes I had in mind had specific and significant meaning – Mr. Stinky & The Titchmarsh Fox.

These were to form the main body of my new DRUM and BEATER, and is also used on my new GODDESS RATTLE

.

making the drum.jpg9

.

The Titchmarsh Fox…

The Titchmarsh fox was roadkill.

I was asked to cook on the Alan Titchmarsh Show in September 2014.   I didn’t have much “unusual” roadkill stock in my freezer and they wanted something sensational.  I gave them all the information and recipes they were after and we started to plan the date for the show.  They still however wanted a ‘show-stopper’ and during one particular phone call I told them that the next ‘unusual’ thing I found on the road I would cook for them… I just happened to be covering a lot of miles that day.

Then on the way home that very eve I found this FOX on the A59.

Something just didn’t feel right.  I decided to sleep on it.

Next morning I told them that I hadn’t found anything despite feeling under pressure.  I was adamant about not straying away from the ethical message and didn’t want to cut up a ‘dead dog’ on daytime telly for an unappreciative and non-understanding audience.

They were not happy with pheasant, squirrel or rabbit.  Anyway…. in the end the job didn’t happen.

Part of him became my drum head.

.

.

Mr Stinky…

Mr Stinky was NOT roadkill.

In 2012 I participated in a TV programme for the Discovery Channel – it was called “FORBIDDEN”.

I hand-picked a group of like-minded friends and we called ourselves the “Roadkill Collaborators” and we hosted the very first UK “Roadkill Food Festival”.

.

(Our contribution, Episode 7 was called “FREAKY FOODS” – first shown 11th November 2014)

.

The producers also wanted FOX on the menu. Fergus had one in his freezer, and he became known as the “Flying Fox” as the show had paid for him to be flown up to Scotland from London where he resided in a friends freezer!

…but he was frozen solid with ‘dry ice’ when he arrived and un-skin-able!

We said if we found one on the road we would happily have it on the menu.

The producers had one shot!…

We were really pissed off and threatened to cancel the rest of the filming. Shooting the fox for entertainment was the absolute antithesis of the message we were trying to convey. The film crew were incredibly embarrassed and apologised profusely on behalf of the producers.

Mr Stinky Fox as we affectionately called him did not appear on the show, but when the filming was over and the crew left, I processed both foxes myself, respectfully and peacefully.

I promised Mr Stinky that his death would not be in vain and that he would be honoured.

And I kept that promise 💜  he is both part of my new DRUM, RATTLE and also the BEATER for my drum.

.

This beautiful white “Mr. Stinky” leather was made using just water and salt.  I didn’t intend to make leather as his pelt was so plush (and stinky) but his fur slipped unexpectedly during tanning.

.

mr stinky leather

.

The Bat Crystal…

The Bat Crystal has its own amazing story.

The Cambodian trip in 2007 was a solo trip that immediately followed a huge fight and subsequent breakdown of a relationship and business partnership.  I literally threw my passport, a pair of knickers and my credit cards into a bag and drove to the airport.  I was at my tethers end.

It was necessary at the time to throw myself to the mercy and wisdom of the Universe, alone and accepting.  I was in great emotional pain.  I wanted to re-find myself, to rediscover my TRUTH,VOICE and COURAGE and begin my life all over again.  I discovered a lot in Cambodia, about life, me and my path.

(read more here…)

Anyway….

As well as working with an independent mobile medical unit that delivered first aid and medical attention to the displaced refugees in a camp just outside the Cambodian capitol, I did a bit of sightseeing, lol.

I hired a moped and visited some ancient caves, in a protected eco-system in the countryside around Phnom Sampeou that were famed for its bat population.

.

.

At dusk millions, literally millions of small bats come bursting out of the mountain forming a steady stream toward the countryside, where they spend the evening stuffing themselves with insects.  Towards dawn they retire back into the mountain.

I went caving with a local guy, who, equipped with a torch and a few wide brimmed hats took me deep into the caves, squeezing through tight gaps and exploring huge caverns.

On approaching the main bat cave he handed me a hat with instructions to look ‘up’ very carefully!  The reason for this became apparent when I entered the cave.

It was ‘RAINING’.

But it wasnt rain… it was millions of bats clinging to the cave ceiling – PISSING!

It was incredible!  The noise was intense!

Where ever we shone the huge torch we saw seething masses of little furry rodents with wigs… families of bats, babies, copulating couples… it was quite something!

The guy shone his torch to one of the walls.  I was mesmerized!  The walls glowed!  Most of the interior of the cave was made of CRYSTAL!

It was a CRYSTAL CAVE!

For millennia these crystal walls had been absorbing the sounds, smells and essence of BAT day in, day out.

On the floor, which was now many meters deep in Guano, were chunks of these crystals that over time had fallen from the walls… and I put one in my pocket and brought it home.

I knew I would one day make something special out of it… and it now forms the center piece of my drum.

.

.

This entire process was deeply informative and transformational.  I have been working closely with Fox energy now for many months and I have been wearing handmade (by me) fox bone beads in my Elf Locks for the past three years!

.

.

 

 Working so intimately with these animals enables me to absorb and transmute their special essence into an energy I can work spiritually with.  Dear Fox has been a very special ally.

Thank you FOX❤

.

fox_face_eyes_grass_66412_1024x1024

.

Basic Fox Symbolism

* Physical and mental responsiveness, increased awareness
* Cunning; seeing through deception; call to be discerning
* Ability to find your way around, to be swift in tricky situations
* Affinity with nocturnal activities and dream work

.

Basic Bat Symbolism

* Shamanic work, Hidden knowledge, Hidden work
* Active dreaming, Past Life Journeys, The Underworld
* Instinct, Perception, Vibrational Sensitivity
* Beginnings (Initiation

.

Basic Deer Symbolism

* Gentleness, Being Sensitive and Intuitive
* Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace, ability to change directions quickly
* Being in touch with your inner child, innocence
* Vigilance, Magical ability to regenerate, being in tough with life’s mysteries.

 .

.

These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

.

.

.

.

There are also far more personal meanings attached to the birthing of this “FOX DRUM”, “GODDESS RATTLE“, “FOX BEATER” and “VULTURE SMUDGER” as well as the obvious symbology attached to each animal used.

.

“As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive”.

.

Additional Notes…

andy woodwrightHoop lovingly made by Andy Hurst – Woodwright made in a traditional manner from Scottish Oak fastened with copper boat nails.

Feels gorgeous. Thanks Andy. xxxx

https://m.facebook.com/AndieCraft/

.

**********************************

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shamanic druidryThe Deer rawhide was purchased off Lynne Cowley – as well as this fox head rattle this hide was used to make the lacing on my new drum as I didn’t have enough fox to cut into strips… (and the Deer added the strength and grace I wanted).  Anyone wishing to make their own rattle, or drum, can purchase sustainably sourced leather and rawhide directly from Lynne and Phil Cowley of Shamanic drums and rattles. I have visited their place years ago, and I have to say that their hand scraped and brain tanned rawhides and suede are the best quality I have ever seen anywhere. They truly are masters of their craft <3 theirs is the only outside source that I trust.

visit

Shamanic Druidry

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**********************************

.

“LOST BODIES”

“Visceral and graphic yet tender and beautiful. Most importantly it was positive and affirming and showed power and perfect honesty”.

.

“The Shamanic Fox & Snake Goddess Rattle” was completed in July 2016.

It was constructed for my personal use, and to be used during the “Lost Bodies” performance with artist Nicola Hunter (formerly Canavan).  Nicola Hunter is the feisty artist behind the acclaimed“Raising the Skirt” projects.

This is her latest work celebrating grief as a strengthening process for the soul, a metamorphosis and a labored fight in the darkness, answering the call of the Wild Woman. This was a deeply moving and inspirational performance of an actual transition, assisted and held shamanically by me.

.

Lost Bodies

.

If YOU are feeling the call to strengthen your own growth process, shed your old skin and follow the call of the Wild Woman, this raw, deep-diving and deeply inspirational performance is not to be missed

‘LOST BODIES’ that was performed at TF2016 Day 3 is now a three event tour…

next showing in LEEDS (UK) on the 24th September (venue TBA).

If you comment below I will keep you posted…..

.

“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. The wildish nature comes to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped” – (Clarissa Pinkola Estes).

.

*******************

.

“FORBIDDEN” airs on British TV!

forbidden snip

.

On September the 30th this year the DISCOVERY CHANNEL broadcast the series we took part in last year…

Originally called Extreme Worlds (working title) the series launched with the episode “Double Lives”.

 

“What is a delicacy to some can be disgusting to others. Adventurous eating is a growing fad, but these foodies take exotic to a new level. Standard fare just will not cut it for these appetites – they prefer roadkill, insects, and in some cases, dirt.  In the picturesque farmlands of New Zealand, rams’ testicles are gulped down at a food festival. In Japan, a culinary revolution is unearthed when a chef cooks with topsoil. In Scotland, a foraging family chooses a diet rich in foods from the wild – berries, mushrooms, and roadkill”.

.

*******************

.

.

Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

.

.

.

.

.

“Shamanic Fox & Snake Goddess Rattle”

H8790048

Fox fang, snake bone, rattle snake tail, driftwood, fox, deer & snake skin, crow & rooster feathers and crow blood and menstrual blood rattle.

 (Completed in 2016)

.:

“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

.

I completed this rattle in July 2016.

It was constructed for my personal use, and to be used during the “Lost Bodies” performance with artist Nicola Hunter (formerly Canavan).  Nicola Hunter is the feisty artist behind the acclaimed “Raising the Skirt” projects.

This is her latest work celebrating grief as a strengthening process for the soul, a metamorphosis and a labored fight in the darkness, answering the call of the Wild Woman. This was a deeply moving and inspirational performance of an actual transition, assisted and held shamanically by me.

.

Lost Bodies

“Lost Bodies” was performed on The Day 3 Evening of Tempting Failure – at Theatre Utopia, Matthews Yard, Croydon.
23 July 2016

.

.

The Goddess Rattle…

.

Goddess driftwood handle with Deer skin “Fox” shaped rattle head, filled with mixed Snake vertebrae bones.

Bound with white (Mr Stinky) Fox leather around a pair of Fox fangs (roadkill).

Stained with Crow blood (roadkill) and my Menstrual Blood.

.

The opposite rattle is a Rattle Snake tail (my sons first ever baby rattle) bound with Mr Stinky white fox leather.

Decorated with Crow (roadkill) and white Rooster feathers, sewed onto blood red ribbon.

Base bound in white Python skin and Mr Stinky white fox leather.  

Stained with the same.

.

.

It is important to me that I know the history of everything that I use in as much detail as possible, and that it is ethically sourced.

I tend to use personally foraged animal medicines and material in my work, mostly roadkill.

However….

.

Mr Stinky was not roadkill…

In 2012 I participated in a TV programme for the Discovery Channel – it was called “FORBIDDEN”. I hand-picked a group of like-minded friends and we called ourselves the “Roadkill Collaborators” and we hosted the very first UK “Roadkill Food Festival”.

The producers wanted fox on the menu. Fergus had one in his freezer, and he became the “Flying Fox” as the show had paid for him to be flown up to Scotland from London where he lived, but he was frozen solid with ‘dry ice’ when he arrived. We said if we found one on the road we would happily have it on the menu.

The producers had one shot!…

We were really pissed off and threatened to cancel the rest of the filming. Shooting the fox for entertainment was the absolute antithesis of the message we were trying to convey. The film crew were incredibly embarrassed and apologised profusely on behalf of the producers.

Mr Stinky Fox as we affectionately called him did not appear on the show, but when the filming was over and the crew left, I processed both foxes myself, respectfully and peacefully.

I promised Mr Stinky that his death would not be in vain and that he would be honoured.

And I kept that promise 💜  he is both part of my new DRUM, RATTLE and also the BEATER for my drum.

.

This beautiful white “Mr. Stinky” leather was made using just water and salt.  I didn’t intend to make leather as his pelt was so plush (and stinky) but his fur slipped unexpectedly during tanning.

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mr stinky leather

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Basic Fox Symbolism

* Physical and mental responsiveness, increased awareness
* Cunning; seeing through deception; call to be discerning
* Ability to find your way around, to be swift in tricky situations
* Affinity with nocturnal activities and dream work

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Basic Deer Symbolism

* Gentleness, Being Sensitive and Intuitive
* Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace, ability to change directions quickly
* Being in touch with your inner child, innocence
* Vigilance, Magical ability to regenerate, being in tough with life’s mysteries.

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Basic Snake Symbolism

*  Sense of allegiance, Very earnest.

*  Perfectly patient, Highly tolerant.

*  Looking to renew everything, Making everybody equal.

*  Cleaning the environment, Immune to heat.

*  Acute perception, Highly protective.

*  Out of the ordinary, Overtly resourceful.

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Basic Crow Symbolism

*  Life magic, mystery of creation.

*  Destiny, personal transformation, alchemy.

*  Intelligence, Higher perspective.

*  Being fearless, audacious.

*  Flexibility, adaptability.

*  Trickster, manipulative, mischievous.

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Basic Rooster Symbolism

 *  Eccentricity, Uniqueness, Ego

*  Lack of Fear, Curiosity, Sexuality

*  New Beginnings, Sun Energy, Voice finding.

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These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

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There are also far more personal meanings attached to the birthing of this DRUM, RATTLE,BEATER and SMUDGER as well as the obvious symbology attached to each animal used.

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“As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to journey inwards and question preconceptions/ socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive”.

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Additional Notes…

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The Deer rawhide was purchased off Lynne Cowley – as well as this fox head rattle this hide was used to make the lacing on my new drum as I didn’t have enough fox to cut into strips… (and the Deer added the strength and grace I wanted).  Anyone wishing to make their own rattle, or drum, can purchase sustainably sourced leather and rawhide directly from Lynne and Phil Cowley of Shamanic drums and rattles. I have visited their place years ago, and I have to say that their hand scraped and brain tanned rawhides and suede are the best quality I have ever seen anywhere. They truly are masters of their craft <3 theirs is the only outside source that I trust.

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“Visceral and graphic yet tender and beautiful. Most importantly it was positive and affirming and showed power and perfect honesty”.

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If YOU are feeling the call to strengthen your own growth process, shed your old skin and follow the call of the Wild Woman, this raw, deep-diving and deeply inspirational performance is not to be missed

‘LOST BODIES’ that was performed at TF2016 Day 3 is now a three event tour…

next showing in LEEDS (UK) on the 24th September (venue TBA).

If you comment below I will keep you posted…..

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“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. The wildish nature comes to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped” – (Clarissa Pinkola Estes).

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Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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l-105220

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The Puppeteer

 

Dear tiny, frail old lady

Dear gentle little thing

Quiet, unsuspecting Ring Leader

The Matriarch

The Manipulator

The Puppeteer

Pulling her Puppet’s strings

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A Puppet for every Occasion…

The Carer

The Administrator

The Cook

The Cleaner

The Doctor

The Agony Aunt

The Rottweiler

The Executioner

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All of these puppets

eager to fight back at something

that gives their dull lives some purpose.

That gives them a chance to be Nobel.

“Knights in Shining Armour”.

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A Knight to Defend the Weak and Helpless

Avenging their own Private Tortures

Redemption from their own Pain, Shame and Guilt

their own Childhood Scaring

Repeating their Karma

These Jailers of the Feminine Essence.

The Puppeteer cries…

Stand to attention Puppets

Your Strings are being Pulled.

It is Time to do her Bidding.

Her Dirty Work.

It is time to Rescue the Old Princess.

“Go Forth” Puppets and Punish the Beast

“Go Forth” and Tame the Dragon

…Burn the Witch

… Behead the Gorgon

…Cage the Phoenix

… Rape the Goddess

Tear her limb from limb

Before She Shines Light on Your Shadows

Before She Mirrors your Dark and Painful Truths.

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Feel Good that you defended the old lady

Feel Good that justice has been served.

You Saved Her.

This Poor little Sparrow

The Bird with Broken Wings

Too frail and fragile

too lazy to do her own bidding

and stand up for Herself.

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Victim of her own Fear and Suffering

Her Dark and Painful Truths

Victim of her own childhood scarring

Helpless, frightened little thing.

Doesn’t know how to fend for herself….

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The Puppeteer cries

and the Puppets spring to attention.

You see….

This Daughter had had enough

This Witch too Wise to have her Strings Pulled anymore.

This Gorgon too Fierce to be Forced into Submission.

This Phoenix too Free to be Caged.

She Said “NO” so best she be punished

Untameable Wild Thing.

Banished.

Blamed

Bullied.

Best they take her head

This shining light

This mirror that shows them

the Ugliness in their own Hearts.

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Little do you know “Puppets”

You have inadvertently Freed the Goddess from her Prison

Gave Her Permission to Escape

Break the Chains

You are the Scissors that cut the Apron Strings

The Knife that cut the Umbilical Cord

You Severed the Slavery to the Matrilineal Line,

…of  Patrilinal Doctrine.

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You Assisted in her Personal Healing

Her Personal Growth

Helped her Overcome and Grow

Do the Work

Heal the Mother Wound

Become Bigger

Wiser

A more Amazing Mother

No more a Slave to that Linear Curse

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By Alison (Tribal) Brierley

(2015)

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puppetteer

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 THE ROADKILL CONNOISSEUR

Making the most of two squirrels!!

Southern Fried Squirrel”

& “Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.

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Recipes and methods:

“Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.

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These pot-sticker dumplings – also called ‘Gyoza’ – are a bit of a fusion signature dish of mine as they are quick to make, use only one pan and can contain tiny portions of ingredients.  Great if what you have to cook is small like a crow, magpie or tiny mammal.

Ingredients:

1 x roadkill squirrel (meat only for this recipe)
Small handful of shredded Chinese Cabbage

few sprigs of coriander and chives
1 x Spring Onion
2cm Ginger
1x tsp Sesame Oil
1 x Clove Garlic
Approx 16 Gyoza Skins (bought frozen from the Asian supermarket)

For the frying pan
A tspn of Sesame Oil
Enough hot water to cover the dumplings half way up.

 Dipping Sauce:
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Saki
1 tspn Mirin
Sprig of coriander and a chilli to garnish (optional)

Method:

Skin squirrel then remove as much meat as possible from the bones and mince with a sharp knife. It’s fiddly work!  Chop vegetables, blend all dumpling ingredients together and let stand for 10 minutes to allow flavours to mix.  The dipping sauce can be made whilst the dumplings are cooking, simply blend ingredients together and garnish!

Add mixture to dumpling cases and form a tight seal at the edges.This method uses the fry and steam method and will take about 14 minutes per batch of around eight dumplings. Heat the pan, drizzle the oil over the base, and when hot, add the dumplings flat side down.  Add water and cover the dumplings half way up their sides. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and turn down the heat to medium – simmer and steam.  Remove lid when water has completely evaporated and fry for a minute more and remove when their bottoms are golden brown.  Serve crispy side up.  There you have it!  Easy peasy, Tufty-Tastic, “Squirrel Pot-sticker Dumplings”.

Next….

Southern Fried Squirrel”

southern-fried-squirrel

Ingredients:

1 x roadkill squirrel

Sprig of coriander and a chilli to garnish (optional)

For the wash
1/4 pint of water
Squirt of your favourite chilli sauce!

For the flour
1 x tspn corn flour
1 tspn salt
1 tspn pepper
1 tspn garlic powder

For the frying pan
Enough oil or lard to shallow fry

Method:

Remove legs from skinned squirrel.  Marinate in the chilli wash for 10 minutes.  Heat the pan and oil ready for frying.  Remove squirrel legs from wash and coat thoroughly in flour mix.  Add to hot oil and fry on a medium heat, not too hot, until cooked through and golden brown.  Drain on a piece of kitchen roll.  Serve with garnish.

They are also delicious dipped in the dipping sauce recipe used for squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings.  Other small animal legs, wings or strips of meat can be substituted for this recipe!

Cleaning up:

Don’t waste the squirrel!  Boil the carcass to make a Squirrel Soup stock.  The skin can also be preserved to make a little squirrel skin rug.

So please do try these two delicious recipes…. they truly are the “Squirrels Bollocks”! lol

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squirrel with balls

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Southern Fried Squirrel”

& “Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.

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IMG_1042

A ‘How to’ film for the MUNCHIES food Channel.

I spent a very pleasurable half day with two guys from VICE / Freemantle Media UK making a show for their “How to…” series.

MUNCHIES chronicles the wide spectrum of the global culinary experience. They liked how I combine roadkill with various forms of cookery styles and ingredients and asked if I would cook for the show. I enjoyed links to the other episodes so said yes!

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I made two of my “Feral Fusion” recipes using squirrel – “Southern Fried Squirrel” & “Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.  They were very tasty and the show is pretty funny, lol.

 

freemantlemedia uk

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“Raising The Skirt 2015″

Thrilled to be one of this years participants.

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I was drawn to a previous posting of the first RAISING OF THE SKIRT (in 2014) months ago and was compelled to Google further.  I found a website and read and listened with tears in my eyes and on my cheeks to some of the Odes to our beloved Cunts.  They resonated deeply.  Once again I realised that despite plenty of personal growth work already, I still owed my precious vagina so much more.

So when a “Call For Participants” popped onto my radar I sat bolt upright and started typing.  I sent in my CV and cover letter the artist Nicola Canavan, introducing myself and my story….  I was chosen.  I was delighted and I felt vitalized.

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It saddens me to say that I hated her for years.  I blamed her for being useless, for hurting all the time, for ruining my relationships.  Despite feeling pain and discomfort whilst making love and for days after I wanted to please my previous partners in bed.  I believed this was simply because I loved them but more subconsciously it was because I was afraid to ‘lose’ them.  Then, after over 20 years of gynaecological issues, and all the ‘head crap’ that goes with it, I was cured!!  Well, almost, lol.  The medical profession can only take healing so far, the rest has to come from within.  This was in 2001.

The true healing of my heart, mind and yoni began in 2007 when I left a huge chunk of my previous life behind and spent an entire year shacked up in my studio, single and loving it!  I documented my inward journeying in a variety of media.  I explored old fears and patterned behaviours, new ideas, people, places and opportunities.  I began consciously “Healing My Temple Door”.

But how do you discipline yourself into opening and surrendering to love when you are hurt, afraid, or angry?  I began to practice.  Slowly I began to love my body again.  I read some fantastic books.  I delved deeply into death and the archetypal psyche of truly wild and witchy women.  I discovered ‘me’ again and so much more.

So, whilst in the sanctuary of my studio, after over two decades of frustration, fear and failed relationships I felt ‘fixed’ enough to be confident and powerful about my budding and belated sexuality!  I boldly decided to make my exciting journey public.  It took a lot of courage to ‘come out’ with regard to my sexual history and private mental tortures.  So many of us suffer as a result of poor sexual health, trauma and the pressures of conforming to a skewed and outdated socio-cultural model of what it is to be an ‘acceptable’ woman’.  I wanted to reach out, seek and include others who have experienced similar; women (and men) who actively want to heal heart, mind and yoni, to dissolve the collective female ‘pain-body’.

I have always been a ‘pusher of boundaries’ and have done some extraordinary things in my lifetime.  I love my life.  I have been a beacon for many women.  I still however struggle with deep-seated low self-esteem issues despite outwardly being incredibly confident and fearless.

Now I am in a solid, sexual and spiritual relationship.  I am still encouraged to be all that I can be.  I still feel the need to know and work on myself from time to time, especially since I have recently started the MENOPAUSE!

Now I face a new challenge.  I have searched for a suitable vehicle to take me on this deeper journey of personal growth but struggle to find ‘non fluffy’ events, workshops or like minded women that can facilitate them.  Then I found this event.  I can’t explain my excitement.  Is this the vehicle for me?  Whatever the decision, I will continue on my path and continue to grow.  I am simply happy that these events exist, and that transgressive female artists and other exceptional and empowered women are no longer burned at the stake for breaking out of our patriarchal constraints.

 

Thank you so much for your gifts and of the ‘Raising the Skirts’ dear Nicola. Viva Vaginas!! Lol.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Alison Brierley. (8th May 2015)

 

 

 
1. A ‘gentle’ introduction to my taxidermy work, lol. “The Story of the Testicle Earrings!” –
https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/blog/

3. “HERNE’S HORN” – This was debuted at a festival, as are many of my performance pieces… it explored the masculine nature of women. It was a piece in response to ‘Kali’s Pants’ (Beaver Merkin) which explored and exaggerated the darker feminine aspects of the female psyche, Vagina Dentata and Kali. The horn is rhino and symbolises the lengths we have to go to be regarded as an equal… ie: grow our own cock! lol.

4. “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT – Made from a hares head and various found and recycled objects.

5. SHEELA-NA-GIGS – Ancient fertility paintings and lino cuttings using placenta blood.   https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/sheela-na-gig-placental-blood-lino-printing-fertlity-art/
 
6.  “Healing The Temple Door” – A Journey of Self Realisation and The Return of “Libido” – A POEM! (WARNING – EXPLICIT)
https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/healing-my-temple-door-a-journey-of-self-realisation-and-the-return-of-libido-a-poem/
 

7. “My MASSIVE Vagina” aka “My Purring Pussy” aka “Festive Fadge” aka “The Temple Door” – A few years ago a giant vulva that graced a red tent opening.  My intention was to create a safe healing area/ re-birthing womb space for women to discuss issues around vaginas, heart and sex. It debuted however a ‘hobbit’ size honey moon suite for some dear friends at their Hand Fasting.  It was also used in the evening to ‘collar’ a few blokes we thought were total ‘cunts’ for a bit of Gurning… It hangs on the dining room wall at the moment. It was decorated in tinsel at Christmas and now has a loud purring and meowing mechanism installed.  Last week it was used for a Beltane ritual at a Rent Tent gathering.

8.   “POLARITY” – Cernunnos and The Bringer Of Light to Dark Places – AKA – The Horned Lord and the Witch. FERTILITY ART
https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/polarity-cernunnos-and-the-bringer-of-light-to-dark-places-aka-the-horned-lord-and-the-witch-fertility-art/

9.  PLACENTA PABULUM – ART & COOKERY & COMMISSIONS – “Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”.  https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/preoccupied-with-placentas-10-experimental-adventures-making-beautiful-things-from-placenta-placenta-art-cookery/

10.  “MENOPAUSE” – Crow Woman – “I grow my black wings and scream in silence, stand back or I may tear out your soft throat with my teeth and paint my lips with your hot red blood”.   This is my latest work, drawn just last week.  Two poems accompany her but they are yet to be tweaked. I am in the process of collecting menstrual blood using a moon cup to paint the finsihed portrait.

“Plain (Menses) Sailing” – PMS

Artwork by Alex Alice

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Don’t believe the head chatter
And it’s all Plain Sailing
A calm and uneventful crossing
A ‘breeze’
A gentle navigation
Through the Cyclic waves
Hardly noticed

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Some occasions are a bit chillier
A bit choppier
Choppier of waves and winds
Choppier of heads
All have been known to roll

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Once in a while there’s an all out Storm
In the darkest of nights
HUGE waves
Tossing you this way and that
Walls of blackness
1000 feet high
Veils of impending velvet doom
Like giant Nosferatus
Menacingly loom over you

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Pressure!
Tremendous pressure!
Tremendous crashing
Bashing and slashing
Picking you up then smashing you down
To drown
Sails are torn and tattered
Nerves shattered
Flung far into the unknown
Uncharted waters
Totally lost

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No respite
Hulls are ripped open
Black liquid pain
Leaks from the cracks that have appeared
Cracks that are new
Cracks that are old
Patched up cracks
Smoothed over and glossed over cracks
Forgotten
Until now

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Pressure!
Tremendous pressure!
Just to keep afloat
To save this boat
To keep sailing
To keep smiling
Keep working
“WARNING!!”
“IMMINENT DEATH APPROACHING”

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The vessel Explodes
Medusa speaks her Truth
I pray for survivors
Then a watery demise
A bursting of tears
A river nesting in an ocean
A surrendering to despair
“PLEASE!! Is there ANYBODY out there?”

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Just as quickly as it arrived
The storm breaks
The wind knocked out of sails
The sea of salty tears slows
Ebbs and flows
Then stops

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I am Beached
The wind is now a breeze
A new calm fills this aching, exhausted body
Warmth on back
Pretty turquoise sea
Tickling my toes
Fingers sift soft sand
I am back
I am me

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Stillness
Deep gratitude
A new level is reached
No one else was wrecked
But the hull is still breached

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Old junk and gunk still leak
Now just flotsam and jetsam
Bit by bit
Washed away
With each new breath
Each new wave

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The sun shines again
Shines a light on the darkness
Breaks the brooding clouds apart
Warms a broken heart
Gives you what you need
To stay strong
To stay sane
To return to the mundane
To navigate another storm
Another day
Next month say…?

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By Alison (Tribal) Brierley

(2015)

 

“THE SILK PURSE” -aka- “PEPPER PIG”

Pigs Head Terrine

Made with the whole head, in particular the Ears!

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“This dish was totally awesome, the flavours and textures rivaled any I’ve had in my favourate restaurants!  This terrine was made out of a pigs ear and a trotter!  It was a beautiful thing to look at, and tasted damn good too, dipped in an Asian style sauce made from soy sauce, mirin and sake, with ginger, garlic and spring onions…. mmmmmm!”  

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TERRINE is one of my favourate dishes!!  It has humble beginnings as a hearty meal for French labourers, but is now served in upscale restaurants as a starter.  You can experiment with terrine ingredients as much as you wish, nothing is carved in stone when it comes to these kinds of recipes!  It depends on what nature offers you at the time and your personal tastes!

Since the meat mixture is best marinated and left in the fridge for a day, cooked and cooled the next day and then left up to two days for proper pressing to occur, terrine can be a time-consuming dish. But it doesn’t have to be!

pig headThis terrine came about whilst visiting a friend in Scotland.  My friend and I often swap oddities, techniques, recipes and make things from dead bits, this occasion was no different.  This trip consisted of much outdoor cookery, taxidermy practice and a pigs head!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pig head
  • 2 tblsp pink peppercorn
  • 1 tblsp black peppercorns
  • dash salt and pepper

“I don’t always use bacon to line the tin, often I use a jelly, say, from a pigs head, ham hock or trotters.  I  like to decorate the top (first layer in the tin) with a few foraged edible leaves and/or fruits“.

Other Ingredients 

Asian dipping sauce! 

  • Soy sause
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • Spring onions

pig head brawnMethod 

“The gelatin removed from the meat is used as a preserving & jellying agent (as in the making of pork pies).  Nowadays artificial gelatin is often added, but I prefer the traditional method”.

  1. Boil the pig head in a large pan covered with water until the meat starts to fall off.  Then pull as much meat off as you can.
  2. Make a pork ‘binding’ jelly.  This can be made a day in advance by boiling the trotter or hock in a sauce pan, then simmering on a low heat for 3 hours, until the skin dissolves and the knuckles separate.
  3. Season the jelly with salt and pepper
  4. Line the tin in layers, starting with the pink peppercorns.  Add layer by layer of meat pausing to pour some of the melted jelly binder.
  5. When finished put in fridge till set.
  6. Turn out and serve with the delicious Asian dipping sauce.

 

 

Also think about including… 

  • Foraged herbs and fruits of your choice – autumnal fruits such as plums, blackberries,cherries, apple or apricots work really well!  Be creative!!  Why not make your own chutney too?
  • Wild foraged meat – ROADKILL!

I often make my terrines from Accidental Meats/ Roadkill.  It sparks conversation and debate….

 

 Making Roadkill Pies for Come Dine With Me“…so whats the difference?”

Wild Game Terrine was one of the dishes I served up on Come Dine With Me many years ago, alongside Curried Pheasant & Quinoa Roadkill Pies.  I served two dishes as I wanted to spark a debate if my guests wouldn’t eat the roadkill, but would eat the butcher bought meat.  My question was – “so whats the difference?”  It was the same wild animal, the difference being one had been deliberately shot with a gun, the other had been accidentally hit by a car!  If it was a question of ethics, which one was the most humane?  If it was a question of freshness, one had been hit by a car within a few hours, the other had been hung for over a week in the butchers shop…. which one would you eat?

As it happened they devoured them, and loved it all!    Phewwww!!

Click here for the 2 min trailer…

I hope you enjoy my other ROADKILL & “FERAL FUSION” recipes!

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………………….oOo………………..

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“FOOT & FADGE” – Roadkill Terrine – “FERAL FUSION” – Wild Food Recipes with Trotters, Uterus and Goji Berries

 

Roadkill Rabbit and Pheasant Terrine with Pig’s Uterus, Trotters, Bacon and Goji Berries.

Enjoy!!

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“Big Cat Warrior Tribal Choker”

Tooth, Bone and Bead Necklace

Made from recycled materials, cow bone, wooden beads and a pair of Giant Cat teeth.

 (Completed in 2007)

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“When you can speak your heart to the people – clearly and without fear – honour, bravery and victory are yours”.

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Native Americans often crafted and wore jewelry carved from bone and horn parts.

The ‘Bone Choker’ provided physical protection of the neck and the jugular vein during battle and fighting in the hope to deflect an arrow shot at them by an enemy during war parties.

Bone chokers are also believed to provide spiritual protection of the voice.  It was said that the Spirit shall also provide a great speaking ability when wearing a properly made bone choker that always speaks the truth and guides the warrior to speak from the heart.

By wearing a bone choker, the spirits of the animal they come from were believed to provide protection from all kinds of troubles and even disease.

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Bone chokers were originally made from bird leg bones.

“The spirit of the bird could be invoked to protect the person’s voice from ailments, jealousy or fatigue.  The bird was not always killed to make the chokers. Most often they were found after a predatory animal had already killed them or they had died a natural death. This was considered a good sign when found. Not only for the people who needed the chokers but for the bird, so it’s life would be of honor, value and service”.

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I wear this choker for special, spiritual and ceremonial occasions, when I feel my voice needs to be true, strong and direct.

I made this originally from a recycled cow bone belt that I bought in Bali, during a Big Trip in 2001-02.

The belt sat with some other souvenirs in a box for many years, until I made a trip to Cambodia in 2007 and acquired the “Big Cat’s” Teeth.

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The Cambodian trip was a solo trip that immediately followed a huge fight and subsequent breakdown of a relationship and business partnership.  I literally threw my passport, a pair of knickers and my credit cards into a bag and drove to the airport.  I guess I ran away… I was at my tethers end.

It was necessary at the time to throw myself to the mercy and wisdom of the Universe, alone and accepting.  I was in great emotional pain.

I wanted to re-find myself, to rediscover my TRUTH, VOICE and COURAGE and begin my life all over again.

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The M Team with some of the kids.

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When I consciously opened my heart to the universe and decided to throw myself into whatever opportunity arose, I had a chance meeting in a random guest house in Phenom Penn.

The very next day I began working with an independent mobile medical unit that delivered first aid and medical attention to the displaced refugees in a camp just outside the Cambodian capitol.  These refugees had been forced to live in pretty horrific, unsanitary conditions and the stories they told were heart breaking… as if this country hadn’t suffered enough under Pol Pot!!

I dressed woulds, administered meds and assisted the doctor with general & dental support. I chatted to the people and played with the children. I also was a blood donor and gatherer of other potential backpacker donors as Dengue Fever among the locals was claiming lots of lives and massive transfusions were needed, especially for the children.

Towards the end of my trip these large cat teeth were gifted by a toothless old man, as a Thank You.

Alas, despite feeling the love and warm emanating from his heart, I couldn’t understand the language so didn’t hear from what big cat these teeth came from… all I picked out was “BIG CAT”.

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This trip reset my moral compass and reminded me of what I could achieve regardless of any relationship.

My “Big Cat Tribal Choker” necklace is a reminder to always act from the HEART and speak my TRUTH.

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As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

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Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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