Tag Archive: placenta art


“POLARITY”

“Cernunnos and The Bringer Of Light to Dark Places” – AKA – “The Horned Lord and the Witch”.

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The Joining - Cernunos & The  Bringer Of Light to Dark Places.  Lino Print 08

The Joining – Cernunos & The Bringer Of Light to Dark Places. Lino Print 08

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“The feminine is pure, boundless and infinite energy moving freely without any particular direction.

It is directionless but immense, ever changing, beautiful and destructive.
The feminine is the force of life and source of inspiration.
The feminine moves in all directions, the masculine moves in one direction.
The feminine needs the masculine to give it direction, focus and purpose.
The masculine needs the energy of the feminine to give it drive and passion.
The masculine and the feminine need each other.
The masculine directs while the feminine projects.
This is the relationship of yin and yang”.

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I highly recommend the work and books of David Deida.  His Tantric wisdom has changed my life, sex and relationships forever!

 

  Marcus Cernunos

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“The Horned Lord”

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“The Witch”

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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 and many many more!!

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“Sheela-na-gig”

Placental Blood Lino Printing

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“SHEELA-NA-GIG”

Placental Lino Prints – Block printing using a carved lino tile and placenta blood with optional black food colouring.

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 A series of experiments completed during my artists’ residency at the NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

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  Earth  Air  Fire  Water

 Self portrait of the archetypal image of Sheela-Na-Gig in B/W, Earth, Air, Fire & Water.

 

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“The Sheela-na-gig is a figure from medieval stone carvings of the British Isles (mostly Ireland), of a grinning woman holding open Her vulva. She is regarded by some as a gargoyle-like figure meant as a medieval allegory of lust, or as a magical figure meant to cure infertility in women, but others have seen in Her an echo of the ancient Irish earth mother.The vulva as holy symbol of birth and life is a very ancient idea that symbolizes the life-giving and regenerative powers of the Earth Mother”

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Sheela Na Gig at Kilpeck church

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More Placenta experiments…. read on!

To date I have done the following with Placenta…

  1. PLACENTA PRINTING using the blood still inside the bag
  2. Painted SHEELA-NA-GIG images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. SHEELA-NA-GIG lino prints using placenta blood and black food colouring – also made ‘Thank You’ cards with the lino cut for my “Blessing Way Sisters”
  4. Made PLACENTA RAWHIDE from the Amniotic Sac
  5. Made the artistic piece “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”
  6. Cooked the rest – PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism – “Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”
  8. Made PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES
  9. Made PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES
  10. SOCK MONKEY with dried placenta in the stuffing – “FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH”
  11. I added the umbilical clamp which still has attached to it some of Max’s dried umbilical cord – I added this to the other charms/ tokens inside “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT
  12. PLACENTA SKIN KEYRING – with Hare’s Tail & Foot.  The Tail and Foot are from the same animal that made the “HAREY PURSE” above.

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!  ‘Follow’ my blog-site and watch this space!  I will keep updating as I go along!

 

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 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Sheela-Na-Gig DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES Placenta Skin Baby Booties sock monkey portrait Sheela-Na-Gig painted in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta Print BW Sheela-Na-Gig lino print  in blood/ black food colouring, Nomadic Village 2012 A Womb With a View see through placenta ket ring

umbilical clamp added to the harey purse placenta skin keyring and hares tail ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVEPLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKY Placenta cookery in Olive, Nomadic Village 2012

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 Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.

 

Lino Prints

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Block printing using a lino tile and placenta blood. Nomadic Village 2012.

I then made some block prints using a lino tile I had cut just days before the birth.  The image was that of the Sheela-Na-Gig image that helped me through labour.  I made pencil rubbings of the tile and created thank-you cards for my ‘Blessing-way Sisters’ who had nurtured me beautifully.

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PLACENTA ART & COOKERY

       

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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

“YUMMY MUMMY” 

My Experimental Adventures Lacto Fermenting Using Raw Breast Milk

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First step, seperated breast milk into curds and whey

– “MAMA MOOLI” –

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nourishing-traditions I had been trawling the web for ages looking for a local raw milk supplier so I can start lacto-fermenting foods.  We had recently bought the book ‘Nourishing Traditions’ and I had been building up courage to experiment with lacto-fermented vegetables, cultured dairy products and fermented beverages like kombucha.

To begin I ideally needed to make “WHEY” – as in ‘Curds and Whey‘.

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Finding good RAW mlk turned out to be quite a challenge as there are many laws regarding the selling and comsuming of unpasteurised milk.  A lot of the information out there is trying to convince you that drinking raw milk was DANGEROUS!

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We did the research.

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The benefits, in my humble opinion far outweigh the risks.  So I kept looking for a local supplier, preferably of organic ‘Goat’ milk.

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Then a penny dropped… “DING!”… “what the feck, Derrrrr!!”

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surprised goat

We have a live organic goat living with us already… ME!!!

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Why didn’t I think of it before?  Was it simply because of the cultural conditioning  and belief that drinking your own breast milk is a bit, well, “Eeeeeewwe” ???

Really?  My god!  It is barmy when you think about it.  Human milk is designed for us, but we drink, and feed our new-borns and children, milk from another ‘species’, often rather than our own!!!  A species that is factory farmed, sometmes in terrible conditions, regularly pumped full of growth hormones, antibiotics and fed pesticide enriched food stuffs?  And THAT is totally socially acceptable?  How weird is that?  “Eeeeeewwe”!

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Well, MY milk tastes bloody yummily lovely thank you very much, lol, and it is clean, chock full of antibodies and completely free!

That was it.  Didn’t need any convincing.  Time to get pumping!

 “MOOOOOOooooooooooo”

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happy mad cow

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Soooo, I started pumping!!! … and pumping!!!

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Unfortunatly me and the pump… we don’t like each other (long story) so didn’t get much out.  Thanks to copious amounts of Green & Blacks chocolate I eventually got a few fluid ounces out.

It was enough however to make my first jar of lacto fermented “MAMMA MOOLI” using my own milk!  And it was great, Yayyyyy!!

 (if a little salty… I used too much salt)

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The process was the same as the one laid out in the book for normal fermentation using whey and I will provide a link here  to the recipes rather than type the whole thing out (busy mum needs to find short cuts and solutions, lol)

I hope the pics are enough of a visual guide and I am happy to anwswer any questions personally using the comment boxes provided with this post.

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Since originally drafying this page ages ago I have weaned my little one.

I could have happily extended the breast feeding, but my partner and I are trying for another.  At 44 years old I need to maximise my chances.

Sadly, breast feeding is one of those things that can inhibit conceiving.  The process of weaning was (sometimes still is) actually harder for me than it was for him.  I still get a little emotional at times, my hormones are taking an entire cycle, at least, to return to normal.  I am content that our little ‘Mooster’ was given the very best start in life and had his ‘booby’ for a good 18 months.

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However…. the story does not stop there!

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One of my dear lactating friends, Eirene, upon much encouragement by me, has begun pumping for the Milk Bank.  How fantastic is that!!

She is now a breast milk donor for the poor little premature babies who do not get the chance others get.  She has an abundance of rich, nourishing and much needed milk, and now she saves lives!  I am so proud of her.

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Caitlin, another breast milk donor fed my little one when things got tough for me at one point in the early days.  I saw her personally at her home and was lucky enough to get her milk ‘raw’ and unpasteurized.  She even wet-nursed my baby, which was a huge experience for both of us.  We are quite close now, a bond was formed between us that can never be broken.

Eventually I pumped my milk back and continued to feed my baby for another 15 months,

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Soooo, Eirene with regularity has a freezer full of bags of lovely milk.

All the milk that the bank cannot take, she is giving me… so my lacto fermenting veggie adventures using breast milk continue…. Yaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!

….but using someone else’s milk…. lol.

Now that raises another eyebrow doesn’t it!!

raised eyebrow baby

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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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Feel free to explore my site and other posts such as…

 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

 “Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”

12 Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Other blogs on ART projects –

SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKIN, ANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART &  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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A Wild Woman’s Joy at being able to DANCE again

after pelvic injury and birthing.

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tumbleweed-at-the-edge-of-a-sand-road-on-the-way-to-route-40-argentina

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“We Have Come To Be Danced”

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The year before I became pregnant I had a slight injury to my hip whilst out hiking in beautiful countryside.

Wasn’t that much of an injury I thought, but things got worse over the coming months, and, convinced that I had somehow manifested it myself and that my body would heal naturally, I did nothing about it.  In fact it took ages to relate the two together.  I continued to dance, despite the discomfort!

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Nine months after the injury I realised that hoping it would get better on its own was futile and I sought the help of a physiotherapist who confirmed that my pelvis had had an anterior rotation for sometime – no wonder I had been in considerable pain.  My pelvic floor had deteriorated and various muscles were not firing as they should.  Other muscles had taken over, my body was way out of balance and it needed much work, as did my self-esteem.  I was relieved to begin physical treatment.  It was an education to learn just how important it was to maintain flexibility and good posture.  For someone who was an enthusiastic dancer and considered herself pretty fit, I was shocked to lose my strength and mobility so quickly!

Only weeks after starting said treatment I found out (thanks to the ‘Cosmic Sock Monkey’, lol) that I was at last pregnant!  Whooohoooo!!  I was soooo happy!  We had been trying for so long!

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Unfortunately the NHS do not treat pregnant women, so my condition was left to deteriorate again until after the birth.  It got much, much worse.  I no longer danced.

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I still continued to enjoy life, we even bought a van in the States and did a huge road trip which included the iconic BURNING MAN festival, albeit at a more sedentary pace and constantly consciously aware of the unique little person growing inside me.

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We did everything we could to make his entrance into this world as easy, enjoyable and enlightening as possible.  We did a lot of reading together. We even moved areas to one that was less inclined to suggest elective caesareans and not be so fearful and protocol based.  I was thrilled to be so fecund, I was going to miss this feeling.

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Natural Birthing, Rites of Passage & Primal Behaviour.

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However, at the age of 42 pregnancy knocked the stuffing out of my body, despite being enchanted by my pregnancy.  I was finding it excruciating to walk, sit and sleep.  I found an amazing chiropractor who helped keep everything together while my body was flooded with the hormone ‘relaxin‘.  This hormone was not helping me stabilise my twisted, and now floppy pelvis.

Bernette Van Kal based in Harrogate at Montpellier Chiropractic, North Yorkshire is a miracle worker, was incredibly gentle and reassuring.  She continued to realign my body so that we could have the birth we wanted.

I can not thank Bernette enough, she has since become a close and cherished friend, and I managed to have a wonderful home-birth and beautiful son, Maximus.

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H1730011

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After being semi-disabled for nearly two years, I can at last dance (for a while) without pain.  I have made up for the lack of self-expression through movement by focusing on my other artistic practices.

Now, the worry and challenge of losing my mobility and being uncertain of its return has transformed how I want to move my body, especially in public – basically, I didn’t give much of a feck before, I care even less now what other people think.

I still have some degree of discomfort every day, I keep popping out little abdominal hernias because it has taken 18 months for the stomach muscles to knit back together, but my continued Pilates classes twice a week with the lovely and whip cracking Claire and Louise  (of Heaven & Hell Fitness) and the physiotherapy exercises are improving my level of fitness and stability all the time.

Eckart Tolle helps me to see the bigger picture and keeps me mentally on track in an insane world, and David Deida’s daily ‘Bluetruths’ remind me how to keep the flame in our relationship and sex-life burning.

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I can’t wait to be dancing again this summer… and jumping up and down without peeing myself!  lol.

This powerful poem that I love by Jewel Mathieson sums up how I feel.  Every woman would benefit from …

I HAVE COME TO DANCE!!

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We have come to Be Danced

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Not the pretty dance
 Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the Belly
Of the Sacred, Sensual Animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box Dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
 But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The Blow the chip off our shoulder Dance.
The slap the apology from our posture Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two Dance like you
 One two three, Dance like me Dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open Dance
The rub the Rhythm Raw against our Soul Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, Voodoo Mama
Shaman Shakin’ Ancient Bones Dance
The strip us from our casings, Return our Wings
Sharpen our Claws and Tongues Dance
The Shed Dead Cells and slip into
The Luminous Skin of Love Dance.

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We have Come to Be Danced
Not the hold our breath wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the Meeting of the Trinity, the Body Breath and Beat Dance
The Shout Hallelujah from the top of our Thighs Dance
The Mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant Leaps Dance
 The olly olly oxen free free free Dance
The everyone can come to our Heaven Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Where the Kingdom’s Collide
In the Cathedral of Flesh
To Burn Back into the Light
To unravel, to Play, to Fly, to Pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to Be Danced

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We Have Come..

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~ by Jewel Mathieson.

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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.

.

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

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“My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta”

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FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION ‘SOCK MONKEY’

with Placenta Stuffing

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Placenta stuffing sock monkey

Made from recycled ‘Lost & Found’ materials and dried bits of placenta skin.

(Completed 2013)

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THE STORY OF THE COSMIC CONFIRMATION SOCKS!

The weekend we had conceived (and didn’t know it yet) we were walking in a park in London, it was a lovely sunny day!

We had been trying for a baby for a while but nothing had happened.  We were both in our forties and at this point had kinda given up, resigning ourselves to go down the IVF route later in the year, so we had just booked a trip to the United States of America for a last ‘mad-fling’ before possible parenthood!

USA Road Trip 2011

We planned to embark on a two month road trip (something we always love doing) which would include an adventure into the BLACK ROCK DESERT in Nevada, home of the iconic BURNING MAN festival.  I had wanted for a long time to participate in this artistic overload of the senses, and my mind swam with creative ideas!

So there we were, walking along a tree-lined path in a quiet public park in London making travel plans when I walked past a ‘rolled-up’ white and blue ‘thing’ on the path.  Curiosity made me go back and have a look.

It was a pair of tiny baby boys white socks with little blue cars on them.  They were very sweet.  I joked saying it must be an omen, lol.  Anyhow, I was compelled to keep them, my own little ‘Akua’ba’ fetish!

I used to have a couple of Asante Akua’ba dolls when I had the gallery and I am very familiar with why they were used.  There is scientific evidence to back up the validity of this practice that tricks a woman’s hormones into telling the body that it is willing and ready to conceive.  I was happy to experiment with this notion.  I will even go so far as to tell you that I’d bought a little baby’s snuggle-cloth-teddy from Asda a year previously to psychologically warm my being into ‘baby-mode’!

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asda always happy to help

I guess Asda just wasn’t cosmic enough, lol.

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A few weeks later I discovered that I was indeed pregnant and had conceived that weekend, probably earlier that very day!!  The little cute socks were indeed my Cosmic Confirmation Pregnancy Test!

Max has been wearing the socks, but I wanted to make something special when he out grew them.  I was inspired to make a Sock Monkey!  A totally ‘normal’ toy to make out of a pair of socks…

… albeit with a bit of left over dried placenta in the stuffing, lol.

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My “Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things From Placenta” was started at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, and continues to happen so long as there are bits of placenta left.

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 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

10 Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

… and counting!

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Sheela-Na-Gig DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES Placenta Skin Baby Booties sock monkey portrait Sheela-Na-Gig painted in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta printed in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta Print BW Sheela-Na-Gig lino print  in blood/ black food colouring, Nomadic Village 2012 A Womb With a View

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 “Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”

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If you want to read more about making beautiful things from placenta and the placenta rawhide please feel free to view my other blogs…

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To date I have done the following…

  1. PLACENTA PRINTING using the blood still inside the bag
  2. Painted SHEELA-NA-GIG images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. SHEELA-NA-GIG lino prints using placenta blood and black food colouring – also made ‘Thank You’ cards with the lino cut for my “Blessing Way Sisters”
  4. Made PLACENTA RAWHIDE from the Amniotic Sac
  5. Made the artistic piece “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”
  6. Cooked the rest – PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism – “Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”
  8. Made PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES
  9. Made PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES
  10. SOCK MONKEY with dried placenta in the stuffing – “FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH”

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!  ‘Follow’ my blog-site and watch this space!  I will keep updating as I go along!

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If you are interested in the story of the origins and magical uses of the African Dolls read the following page…

African Dolls

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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.

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

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 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Sheela-Na-Gig DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES Placenta Skin Baby Booties sock monkey portrait Sheela-Na-Gig painted in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta Print BW Sheela-Na-Gig lino print in blood/ black food colouring, Nomadic Village 2012 A Womb With a View see through placenta ket ring

umbilical clamp added to the harey purse placenta skin keyring and hares tail ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVEPLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKY Placenta cookery in Olive, Nomadic Village 2012

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(My placenta blogging has become quite prolific, so I have created new categories – Being Born’  & ‘Placenta Art’– especially to accommodate these and related blogs).

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 Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.

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The placenta is an incredible, miraculous, life-giving organ!  It supplies your growing baby with a means of obtaining nutrients for development as well as a method of waste disposal.  While the unborn baby’s vital organs are developing, the placenta operates as its lungs, kidneys, digestive system, liver, and immune system until they fully develop.  The placenta does this so well that even when some of these organs fail to develop, the baby can survive until birth.  It is a thing of ‘Life’!

I remember hearing it for the first time along side my little one’s heartbeat!   The sound of the blood rushing through it was tremendous – it was all so overwhelming and awe-inspiring!  Truly magical!  I cried tears of pure joy!

I felt that the entire process needed honouring, what a miracle we are!  I have ended up doing many wonderful things with my/our placenta! – BEFORE and AFTER I ate it!!  lol.

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BURNING MAN – NEVADA DESERT – USA

BLACK ROCK CITY 2011 – “RIGHTS OF PASSAGE”

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Last year I participated in an Artists’ Residency program called the Nomadic Village UK 2012, sponsored by ISIS Arts.

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NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

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One of my artistic endeavours whilst there, was to defrost my frozen placenta (actually, it’s Max’s placenta) and begin creating as many beautiful things from it as possible…

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To date I have done the following…

  1. PLACENTA PRINTING using the blood still inside the bag
  2. Painted SHEELA-NA-GIG images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. SHEELA-NA-GIG lino prints using placenta blood and black food colouring – also made ‘Thank You’ cards with the lino cut for my “Blessing Way Sisters”
  4. Made PLACENTA RAWHIDE from the Amniotic Sac
  5. Made the artistic piece “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”
  6. Cooked the rest – PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism – “Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”
  8. Made PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES
  9. Made PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES
  10. SOCK MONKEY with dried placenta in the stuffing – “FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH”
  11. I added the umbilical clamp which still has attached to it some of Max’s dried umbilical cord – I added this to the other charms/ tokens inside “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT
  12. PLACENTA SKIN KEYRING – with Hare’s Tail & Foot.  The Tail and Foot are from the same animal that made the “HAREY PURSE” above.

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!  ‘Follow’ my blog-site and watch this space!  I will keep updating as I go along!

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I have enjoyed this process so much I am offering my services as a Professional Placenta Artist. 

Anyone wishing to preserve their placenta can contact me using the ‘Contact’ page or use this highlighted link.

Alison Brierley - Professional Artist 

What I would like to make for you are completely unique and personal ‘objet de’art’ using your placenta, what you want is your choice and I am open to suggestions. 

I will not however be producing items that are meant to be ingested. 

Prices are negotiable depending on what you want and to be discussed privately. )

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Now please enjoy the multiple emotions you will encounter by continuing to read…

“My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta”

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1.  PLACENTA PRINTING

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This is quite widely practiced these days.  Without really doing much with the organ, I blotted it using the wallpaper liner spread before me.  I repeated the process, experimenting with positioning.  It was an amazing thing to play with.  The veins running through the skin made patterns like a road map, palm print and tree roots.  The flesh inside the bag was just like a sponge, in texture and function… it just kept on blotting!!

(Read more…)

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2.  SHEELA-NA-GIG

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The bowl within which the placenta had been defrosting was full of blood!  I experimented by painting with this blood and then mixing it with black food colouring – it applied like ink!  I repeatedly painted a stylized self-portrait based on a Sheela-Na-Gig – an ancient and archetypal pre-Christian image of fertility.  I had a picture of this on the wall near my birthing pool to reassure and assist me through the first and second stages of labour.  It reminded me that women have been doing this for millennia and it does stretch that much’!. 

(Read more…)

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Black/White  Earth  Air  Fire  Water

 Self portrait of the archetypal image of Sheela-Na-Gig in B/W, Earth, Air, Fire & Water.

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3.  LINO PRINTS

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I then made some block prints using a lino tile I had cut just days before the birth.  The image was that of the Sheela-Na-Gig image that helped me through labour.  I made pencil rubbings of the tile and created thank-you cards for my ‘Blessingway Sisters’ who had nurtured me beautifully.

 (Read more…)

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4. PLACENTA RAWHIDE

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I scraped the sac that Max grew in.  I had a couple of shamanic drum hoops with me.  I figured that a bag containing a baby for nine months, kicking away had to be pretty big and strong!  I just hoped it could be stretched to cover a hoop!

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I separated the skin further into three smaller pieces of practically transparent skin, like cling-film.  I cured all the bits and turned them into rawhide – because it was in pieces I had to rethink my idea of a placenta skin drum.

(Read more…)

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5. “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”

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Using whatever bits I could find in the van, I made a light box, backlit with the LED innards of my broken head torch, a  plastic version of a 12-week-old foetus that was given to me last year, tissue-paper and a placenta skin window.  I named it,  ”A Womb with a View”.

(Read more…)

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6. PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON

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We first tried a small piece lightly fried in olive oil just to see how it tasted before the addition of onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a dash of tomato paste, red wine and seasoning.  It was really tasty!

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This is the only disposable organ ever made.  From a cruelty-free, veggie perspective – it’s the only piece of meat (save eating a surgically chopped-off bit) whose owner didn’t have to die first for it to be eaten!

 (Read more…)

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7. CORDON BLEU OR CANNIBALISM?

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Hannibal Lecter

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Despite me growing it and giving birth to it, it belonged to Max.  This meant that eating it was actually a form of ‘cannibalism’!  This sparked a couple of interesting conversations on the subject.

 (Read more…)

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“BE CAREFUL!  I KNOW YOU TASTE DELICIOUS

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8. PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES

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I had originally wanted to stretch the skin over a drum hoop, but it wasn’t possible.  I had to re-think my idea.  I had started to crochet a pair of Baby Booties whilst at the Burning Man festival but totally fluffed up the pattern!  Instead I had the brain wave of making Placenta Skin Booties and hanging them in the car like fluffy dice, lol.  They turned out better than I had imagined… both pairs!

 (Read more…)

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9. PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES

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These booties are rather special as they were made from the parts of the amniotic sac that were almost transparent and incredibly thin.  When dry, they were more delicate than tissue paper – impossible to sew… so I backed them onto bits of Max’s now redundant, but still sentimental, swaddling cloth.   Although they looked great when finished, you couldn’t really tell that they were made from placenta skin, so I ‘funked’ them up a bit with flashing LED’s…

(Read more…)

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Click here to see these fabulous booties in action via Youtube!  Hilarious!!  I am so pleased with them…

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10. SOCK MONKEY with PLACENTA STUFFING

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Placenta stuffing sock monkey

FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH

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The weekend we actually had conceived Max (and didn’t know it yet) we were walking in a park in London, it was a lovely day!

I walked past a ‘rolled-up’ white and blue ‘thing’ on the path… curiosity made me go back and have a look. It was a pair of tiny baby boy socks.  I joked saying it must be an omen!  I was compelled to keep them. I discovered weeks later that I was indeed pregnant and had conceived that weekend, possibly that day!!

It truly was a FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION!  Literally, were on the verge of planning IVF treatment!

Max has been wearing the socks, but I wanted to make something special out of them when he out-grew them.  So I turned them into a ‘Sock Monkey’ and combined some of the scraps of placenta rawhide too small for anything else with the stuffing mix.

(Read more…)

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11. “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

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Some of the umbilical cord is still attached to the little ‘clip’ they use prior to cutting the cord.  I kept it because I am hopelessly sentimental, as you may have already gathered, lol.

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Max's umbilical clamp with cord attched

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I added this to the rest of the charms/ tokens inside the ‘HAREY PURSE’.

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umbilical clamp added to the harey purse

Vulva and Vagina made from recycled materials and a roadkill female hare.

(Completed in 2009)

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(excerpt below taken from the blog)

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I was studying anthropology at the time, having been fascinated with tribal customs and fetishism for many years.  I was absorbed in the study of magical practices and, in particular, fetishes.

Fetishes – usually an object (anything from a small stone carving of an animal to a carved wooden penis) believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner; broadly: a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence. The use of fetish objects is worldwide and from the beginning of recorded history – from Cave Man to modern Christian!

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H2840008 H2840035

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Over the following 16 months since her creation (it took a while for an old bird like me to conceive, lol) her slowly bulging vulva was gradually stuffed and filled with little sacred objects, each having special significance: a carved penis from a dear friend; a small piece of chalk flint from the phallus of The Cerne Abbas Giant; a fossil spiral, a ring of shell; a sculptured clay zygote from another dear friend; and a bird’s egg.

Eventually, I couldn’t fit anything else in her.

She dangled in the window of my motorhome as we drove along, bobbing away to music and the rhythm of the road surfaces, up-front and part of our lives – makes a change from fluffy dice! (read more…)

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12.  PLACENTA SKIN KEYRING

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I made a ‘Keyring’ with a piece of the skin that shows off the veins beautifully!  I completed a ‘set of three’ with the Hare’s tail and a foot form the same roadkill animal that I used to create the “HAREY PURSE” above.

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!

‘Follow’ this blog or my home-page and watch this space!  lol.

Let’s see how many things I can make from a single placenta!! – …. suggestions???

I still plan to plant a bit under the ubiquitous tree of course, lol, I have most of the umbilical cord in the freezer – too late for stem cell harvesting unfortunately.

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………………..O………………..

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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 – “TOTAL BOLLOCKS”, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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I am in the process of cataloguing my work of many years – it will eventually make it to this site!

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“THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE”

SHAMANIC FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

THE 'HAREY' PURSE - SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

“THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE”

SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT.

Vulva and Vagina made from recycled materials and a roadkill female hare.

(Completed in 2009)

  H2840032   H2840031   H2840030

This project began in 2009 during a weeklong ‘walk-about’ following the death of my father and shortly after the decision to start a family with my current partner.

I found the hare at the side of the road only 20 minutes into my lone travels around the North of England and Scotland.

She came with me the rest of the way, my travelling companion,  and bit-by-bit, she was eaten, shared, processed and learnt from, becoming part of the journey, and touching every person we came into contact with, in a deep and meaningful way.

I was studying anthropology at the time, having been fascinated with tribal customs and fetishism for many years.  I was absorbed in the study of magical practices and, in particular, fetishes.

Fetishes – usually an object (anything from a small stone carving of an animal to a carved wooden penis) believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner; broadly: a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence. The use of fetish objects is worldwide and from the beginning of recorded history – from Cave Man to modern Christian!

H2840008 H2840035

Over the following 16 months (it took a while for an old bird like me to conceive, lol) her bulging vulva was slowly stuffed and filled with little sacred objects, each having special significance: a carved penis from a dear friend; a small piece of chalk flint from the phallus of The Cerne Abbas Giant; a fossil spiral; a shell; a sculptured clay zygote from another dear friend; and a bird’s egg.  Eventually, I couldn’t fit anything else in her.  She dangled in the window of my motorhome as we drove along, bobbing away to music and the rhythm of the road surfaces, up-front and part of our lives – makes a change from fluffy dice!

A LITTLE BIT OF SYMBOLISM…

“Traditionally, the Easter Bunny, actually a Hare, was said to lay eggs at Easter. This concept is, of course, very strange to our factual minds, however, taken symbolically, the Egg not only represents Potential, but also the Cosmos and the very ground of Being from which we spring–no pun intended! One only need think about the Cosmic Egg and the Druid’s Egg to begin to get the full scope of this metaphor. No wonder then, that the Hare was at one time, considered both male and female. To produce the Cosmos, both must be present.

This union of masculine and feminine makes the Hare an excellent symbol for marriage.

Other associations with the Hare, that I won’t go into now, are witchcraft, or in ancient societies, with the seer or shaman–the Hare is also the trickster figure in many stories, who outsmarts Winter and Death…

Overall then, the Hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, Life, creative potency, regeneration, fertility and eternity. This symbolism manifests in associations with Springtime, the Dawn, the Moon and Sacred Fire, the Egg, the Circle and Infinity symbol, Marriage, Androgyny and Hermaphroditism, as well as Madness, Genius and Inspiration (which seem to go hand in hand).”

My ‘Harey Purse’ is a highly energised and striking object.  I feel an affinity with this ancient and symbolic animal.  She has inspired (and provoked) many since her creation, humbly as have I.

Thank you dear Hare for being a huge inspiration.  Thank you dear Dad for being an even bigger one.  Thank you my darling son and partner for being a source of constant joy and self realisation.

1 day old, his first bath after being born in the same pool.

One day old Max with Daddy, enjoying his first bath after being born in the same pool.

Dad, me and Mum in Amsterdam celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary

Dad, me and Mum in Amsterdam celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary

limetree hare

The carving on the ‘Hare Stone’ at Limetree Farm, Grewelthrope, Ripon.

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.

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

PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Placenta Skin Baby Booties

PLACENTA SKIN BOOTIES – Made from recycled mixed media, LED’s and the placenta I birthed last year, eventually defrosted and made into placenta rawhide.

The process was started at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, and completed upon request for the filming for Beyond Productions and the Discovery Channel – EXTREME WORLDS.

 ………………..O………………..

 THE MAKING OF…

Placenta preparation with Maz, Nomadic Village 2012

Last year I participated in an Artists’ Residency program called the Nomadic Village 2012, brainchild of Captain Klaus Maehring of Austria, and sponsored by ISIS Arts.

One of my artistic endeavours whilst there, was to defrost my frozen placenta (actually, it’s Max’s placenta) and create as many beautiful things from it as possible – before I ate it!!  lol.  Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.  I have ended up doing many wonderful things with it!

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”PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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PLACENTA ART & COOKERY

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  A series of experiments completed during my artists’ residency at the NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

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To see these click the link below…

NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012 – Project 2 of 3 – PLACENTA PABULUM – ART, COOKERY & CANNIBALISM

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………………..O………………..

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Before any plans could be made, as to what to make with my very special leather, I had to make it.  The entire experience was intense and incredibly interesting on so many different levels!

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Placenta Rawhide

Scraping the amniotic sac in prearation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

Scraping the amniotic sac in preparation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

I scraped the sac that Max grew in.  I had a couple of shamanic drum hoops with me.  I figured that a bag containing a baby for nine months, kicking away had to be pretty big and strong!  I just hoped it could be stretched to cover a hoop!

The skin was beautiful and heavily veined near the umbilical cord.  I could not separate it in one large unbroken piece so ended up with three medium-sized bits.  It was a shame, but it really was quite difficult to work with.  The skin wasn’t a single thickness either – it seemed to be made up of two layers.  It reminded me of the construction of ply wood.

I separated the skin further into three smaller pieces of practically transparent skin, like cling-film.  I cured all the bits and turned them into rawhide – because it was in pieces I had to rethink my idea of a placenta skin drum.

.

ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVE PLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKYTRANSPARENT SKIN

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I decided to make a pair of baby booties!  (I did try to crochet a pair, honest, lol,  but the pattern flummoxed me!).

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Sewing the booties      fitting LED's      Placenta booties lit in the jar

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Youtube clip – PLACENTA ART – PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES – Sewing and Lighting – Part 1

Click Here

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 ………………..O………………..

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In the end, I actually I had enough to make another pair… and I wrote about them in a separate blog…

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PLACENTA SKIN FLASHING  ‘FUNKY-BABY’ DISCO BOOTIES

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PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (green and red)           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (red and red)

Click here to see a video clip of them in action – Hilarious!

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 Some of my other projects created at Nomadic Village 2012 – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE   &   JAPANESE INSPIRED WISHING TREE

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PLACENTA SKIN FLASHING ‘FUNKY-BABY’ DISCO BOOTIES

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

 DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT

PLACENTA SKIN BOOTIES – Made from recycled mixed media, a piece of Max’s swaddling cloth, flashing LED’s and the placenta I birthed last year, eventually defrosted and made into placenta rawhide.

These booties are rather special as they were made from the parts of the amniotic sac that were almost transparent and incredibly thin.  When dry, they were more delicate than tissue paper – impossible to sew… so I backed them onto bits of Max’s now redundant, but still sentimental, swaddling cloth.   Although they looked great when finished, you couldn’t really tell that they were made from placenta skin, so I funked them up a bit with flashing LED’s…

Click here to see these fabulous booties in action via Youtube!  Hilarious!!  I am so pleased with them…

 

PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (green and red)           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (red and red)

The process was started at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, and completed upon request for the filming for Beyond Productions and the Discovery Channel – EXTREME WORLDS.

 ………………..O………………..

 THE MAKING OF…

Placenta preparation with Maz, Nomadic Village 2012

Last year I participated in an Artists’ Residency program called the Nomadic Village 2012, brainchild of Captain Klaus Maehring of Austria, and sponsored by ISIS Arts.

One of my artistic endeavours whilst there, was to defrost my frozen placenta (actually, it’s Max’s placenta) and create as may beautiful things from it as possible – before I ate it!!  lol.  Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.  I have ended up doing many wonderful things with it!

 

I did the following things on a large roll of wallpaper liner…

  1. Placenta Printing
  2. Painted Sheela-Na-Gig images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. Sheela-Na-Gig Lino Prints
  4. Cured the Amniotic Sac that contained Max and stretched the skin
  5. Made the artistic piece, “A Womb With A View”
  6. Cooked the rest and shared the meal with my partner and four adventurous others!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism
  8. Retained the rest of the skin to make other things at a later date

 

“Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”

PLACENTA ART & COOKERY

       

  A series of experiments completed during my artists’ residency at the NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

To see these click the link below…

NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012 – Project 2 of 3 – PLACENTA PABULUM – ART, COOKERY & CANNIBALISM

 ………………..O………………..

 

Before any plans could be made, as to what to make with my very special leather, I had to make it.  The entire experience was intense and incredibly interesting on so many different levels!

 

Placenta Rawhide

Scraping the amniotic sac in prearation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

Scraping the amniotic sac in preparation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

I scraped the sac that Max grew in.  I had a couple of shamanic drum hoops with me.  I figured that a bag containing a baby for nine months, kicking away had to be pretty big and strong!  I just hoped it could be stretched to cover a hoop!

The skin was beautiful and heavily veined near the umbilical cord.  I could not separate it in one large unbroken piece so ended up with three medium-sized bits.  It was a shame, but it really was quite difficult to work with.  The skin wasn’t a single thickness either – it seemed to be made up of two layers.  It reminded me of the construction of ply wood.

I separated the skin further into three smaller pieces of practically transparent skin, like cling-film.  I cured all the bits and turned them into rawhide – because it was in pieces I had to rethink my idea of a placenta skin drum.

 

ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVE PLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKYTRANSPARENT SKIN

 

 

 

 

I decided to make a pair of baby booties!  (I did try to crotchet a pair, honest, lol, but the pattern flummoxed me!).

 ………………..O………………..

I made another pair, much more translucent and larger then the ‘Funky Disco’ ones …  I have written about them in a separate blog…

PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES!

 

Placenta Skin Baby Booties

PLACENTA ART – PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES – My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

Youtube clip – PLACENTA ART – PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES – Sewing and Lighting – Part 1

 Click Here 

 …………………. O ………………..

 Some of my other projects created at Nomadic Village 2012 – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE   &   JAPANESE INSPIRED WISHING TREE

“BEYOND BELIEF”

Scottish Foraging Adventures and Roadkill Collaborations for Beyond Productions and the Discovery Channel – EXTREME WORLDS

Beyond Productions logoThe Australian based company ‘Beyond’ has made many popular TV shows and documentaries.  Beyond, a respected and award-winning independent production company based in Sydney, Australia, is producing a new series for Discovery Networks International provisionally entitled ‘Extreme Worlds’.

Discovery Channel logoThe series is shooting across the globe, and will comprise of 12 one hour episodes featuring three or four stories each. It will air in 209 countries and territories across the world, reaching an anticipated audience of over 1.3 billion.  Each episode will have a theme that looks at subcultural movements and exciting, unusual and enlightening belief systems or ways of life.

They wanted to explore the phenomenon of eating roadkill and certain attitudes towards the self sustainability aspects of being nomadic.  There are many symbolic, cultural, moral and ethical meanings and values of eating & recycling ‘accidental meat’, as opposed to the ‘factory farmed’ kind.

A band of talented individuals then got together to make a program….  To read the whole blog click here!

Special Thanks

 “THE ROADKILL COLLABORATORS”

or, maybe preferably

“THE ACCIDENTAL MEAT COLLECTIVE”

 In alphabetical order, first names first… 

 

 Alison Brierley – Nomadic Shamanic Artist, Road Kill Recycler & Life Skill Liberator

 Using roadkill bones to make jewellery - BoliviaAlison works with organic materials in an often shamanic nature, a resourceful recycler she transforms wildlife and dead animals such as road kill in an attempt to use everything, she dislikes waste.  She harnesses these methods to honour birth, life, sex, death and renewal, her practice also involves wild foraging, creating a deep connection with the environment by surviving from the land.  Themes in her work stem from nature as well as anthropological and ethnological studies of tribal cultures, these are informed by her extensive travelling.

Alison often works with schools and the wider community on projects, working alongside others to push boundaries and challenge preconceptions.

“During filming for EXTREME WORLDS I will be exploring ideas of survival and self-sufficiently, especially in a nomadic context.  I will recycle road kill (and Max’s placenta, lol) to prepare food, create useful and artistic objects, encouraging interaction, participation, education and activism.   I will share my knowledge with anyone who genuinely wants to learn more about living a simple life, appreciative of each others gifts, and connected to, nature”.

Ali, is nomadic and her home is on wheels.  She practices ‘simple living’.

“Our long-term goal is to live off-grid, ever evolving and be totally self-sufficient”.

https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/

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Bill Wiseman – Our Acting Spokesman for the Revival of Ancient Crafts

Bill has a lifelong interest in ancient crafts and several years’ involvement in experimental archaeology.

Bill acted as a ‘volunteer villager’ in the early days of WestStowAnglo-SaxonVillage in Suffolk, demonstrating ancient crafts to visitors.  He has recreated artefacts from various ancient civilisations for both ornament and practical use.  He has built and used an Iron Age loom (still has it), can spin using drop spindle, weave and make pots using Iron Age methods.

He has made several flat and longbows, and is an excellent archer.  Bill is a true craftsman and passionately enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills to younger folk, as he firmly believes these are things that should not be lost.

Thank you dear Bill for your patience, kindness, calmness and wealth of knowledge. It is an honour to learn from you.

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Ebony Andrews: Postgraduate Researcher and Natural Science Enthusiast

Ebony Andrews - Postgraduate researcher and natural science enthusiast.Ebony is currently undertaking PhD research into the interpretation of museum taxidermy collections at museums located in the North of England. She is also a seminar tutor at the University of Leeds.

Formerly a taxidermy assistant for National Museums Scotland, Ebony is trained in the preparation and tanning of animal skins for museological purposes. She has worked with a diverse range of species, from large and charismatic exotics to more common native species and everything in between. In addition, as a volunteer at various museums over the years, Ebony has gained experience in the conservation and restoration of natural science specimens which has contributed to her developing knowledge of taxidermy and taxidermic techniques.

As a Fine Art graduate and self-confessed ‘craftsperson and maker’ rather than ‘artist’, Ebony has exhibited at a number of venues across the UK including the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, and at various sites across London amongst others. Her practice, both in art and research, is strongly influenced by her interest in the political and ethical discourses on the relationship between humans, nature and the natural environment. Working closely with animals has led her on an interesting, and at times emotional journey which is in a constant state of renewal and re-evaluation:

‘How I feel about animals and their habitats has shifted dramatically over the decade in which I have been working both with, and on them. Today issues relating to animals and their environments can provoke strong ethical and moral questions, as indeed they should, and I think it’s crucial that we reflect upon our relationship with the natural world to investigate why’. 

Along with her enthusiasm for nature and the natural world, particularly its preservation, Ebony is also interested in how cultural institutions construct and perpetuate notions of individual and collective identity through the interpretation of history, heritage and memory.

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Fergus Drennan – The Roadkill Chef, Wild Man & Wild Food Experimentalist and Inspiration Engineer

Sten - The Suburban BushwackerFergus Drennan is a broadcaster, writer and educator on the delights of food foraged from the wild.

Best-known for his BBC programme “The Roadkill Chef”, Fergus runs courses for schools and clients on foraging and preparing wild food.

An enthusiastic and experienced forager, working with wild plants as a gateway for exploring issues connected with sustainability, ecology, mental and physical health, spirituality, creativity and life purpose. He is an evangelist for the promotion of wild foods, with the ability to connect you directly with nature – and help provide a rooted sense of place and belonging.

Fergus, on the 1st of May, will be embarking on an incredible journey – to spend an entire year in the UK living 100% entirely on foods foraged himself!  His supporting website will be a resource packed full of free information on Wild Food, what you can do with it, and free videos regardless of whether or not you wish to donate, but please support and sponsor him.  This is knowledge we need to preserve and re-learn.

http://www.indiegogo.com/one-year-total-wild-food
http://www.wildmanwildfood.co.uk/index.html
http://wildmanwildfood.blogspot.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/fergustheforage
https://www.facebook.com/fergus.drennan

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Fraser Simpson – The Happy Haptic – Bone Carver, Wild Food Forager & Chef 

 

fraser Simpson - The Happy HapticFraser is enthralled with the haptic .  Taking what is intrinsically a valueless, readily available material, bone, he sculpts beautiful objects using a few basic hand tools most of which are to be found in “granddad’s shed”.

He draws his inspiration from a broad range of interests but his main influences are anthropological, symbolic and the mathematical structures of nature.  His work is inspired by the many anonymous artists working in bone since, archaeologists maintain, art began, including:

The Original Cave Man, Many Tribal artisans around the world, Scrimshanders, French Prisoners of War, Netsuke Makers.

Fraser is currently working on building interest in bone carving through a series of workshops, exhibitions and lectures.  He is also making the first tentative steps in collating a book on the subject matter.

Fraser’s art harks back to a life more simple when time itself seemed slower and more readily available. A time that can be recreated, he has found, through the practice of bone carving.  He is currently working on a project using the bones from the Ox Roast in Windsor which was held to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

He is also a director of Artists.ltd.

http://www.artists.ltd.uk/content.asp?id=4&doc=5

http://www.artists.ltd.uk/content.asp?id=11&doc=17

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Jonathan McGee – Professional Photographer

Jonathan Mcgee - Professional PhotographerJonathan is based in Leeds, West Yorkshire and was invited along to join the Roadkill Group to document the process and provide coverage for Beyond.  Jonathan has a good working knowledge of the environment and foraging having grown up in the countryside.  He has a passion for cooking and helped the team prepare and assemble the great feast that marked the end of this gathering.

Jonathan is very skilled and extremely passionate about his photography and this comes across in his work.  He has a talent for connecting to his subject and is able to provide unseen coverage in an artistic and documentary style regardless of subject matter.  He was great to watch at work, so energetic and enthusiastic, his process was unobtrusive but still very exciting to be part of.  He is passionate about his art and it shows in the images he captures.

@: jonathan.m.mcgee@btinternet.com

www.jonathanmmcgee.com

www.shootingphotography.co.uk

facebook: jonathan m mcgee photography

facebook: shooting photography and countryside pursuits

T: 07805575547

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Kathryn Libby – Natural Therapist & Shamanic Facilitator

Kathryn Libby – Natural Therapist & Shamanic Facilitator Kathryn is a professional Natural Therapist who is additionally well practiced in creating and running Sweat Lodges.  She also runs workshops in drum making using ancient and traditional methods.

It was when she moved to Northumberland in 2002 that she first encountered usable roadkill initially just picking recently dead pheasants from the road and taking them home to prepare for dinner. A few years later, having hit a deer by accident, she then had to have it dispatched due to the injuries it sustained. She took it home, gutted it in the bath and, due to a lack of space had the local butcher cut it up.  All the meat was used and the hide was used to re-cover her djembe.

Never wanting to be wasteful, she enjoys creating beautiful objects from what nature puts her way.  She also enjoys the health benefits of natural food such as roadkill compared to factory style farmed meat.  A strong and amazing woman, passionate about being respectful of all living things.

kathryn.libby@live.co.uk

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Linda king – Mother, lover, daughter, sister, healer, friend, facilitator and member of the Human Race.

 

Linda king – Mother, lover, daughter, sister, healer, friend, facilitator,

“These different aspects of who I am and what I can offer and share in the world continue to rebalance and integrate as I flow through and live my Life …. I enjoy making things happen particularly in collaboration with others”. 

Linda draws from her rich and varied background as an artist and therapist having trained in deep tissue bodywork, humanistic psychology, counseling and art therapy alongside a life-long interest in natural medicines and the healing arts.

She is constantly exploring different ways of working with energy whether that be through hands-on healing work, the visual arts or exploring Labyrinths, Land Energies and the Elements to promote curiosity, peace and personal transformation.

Her artwork is an emotional and intuitive enquiry – drawing from, and fulfilling, a deep answering and longing – which provides a map of her psyche.  At those times when she gets the image just right, something deeply satisfying happens – a bit more of her fits into place.

As intuitive healer, she offers individual sessions of intuitive massage and bodywork to help maintain balance and well-being, allowing greater energetic flow within all our systems and promoting greater self understanding.

A dear friend and sensual wild woman – I can vouch for her ‘magic’ hands!!  lol.

www.lindaking.org.uk

www.celebratewomen.org.uk

lindaking3@btinternet.com

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Mother Malarky – Shamanic Taxidermist, Drum Maker  and Forager

Mother Malarky - Shamanic Taxidermist, Drum Maker and ForagerAfter 30 years as a “veggie”, Mother Malarky decided to change and live according to her beliefs.  She became committed to using whatever the Universe puts in her path.

Her respect for living animals means only killing to eat, not for sport, and respect for a dead animal means utilising every bit of it, and doing so with gratitude.  She has a strong sense of community and skill sharing.

She is experienced in the entire process of butchering, skinning, cooking & eating roadkill.  She has an immense knowledge of flavours and recipes.  A Wild and Witchy Woman!  ‘Magic’ happens in her kitchen!

http://www.wildshamanicdrums.blogspot.co.uk/

https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/tufty-tastic-sausage-making-lessons-from-the-roadkill-sausage-queen/

mothermalarky@hotmail.co.uk

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Sten  – The Suburban Bushwacker: Hunter, Forager and Adventurer

Sten - The Suburban Bushwacker.A tubby suburban dad (his words, lol) watching hunting and adventure shows on TV and wondering “Could I do that?”… 

… Well, YES! He can!

Well known for his TV appearance with Paul Merton, amongst others.  A prolific blogger and adventurer.  He chronicles his life whilst learning how to Forage, Hunt and Fish for food that has…

“lived a life I would wish for myself – Wild and Free!”

His blog is the story of the journey between fat-dad to bushwhacker-dude, how and why he collects kit, learns skills and gets inspired by adventure storytelling.  When suburban life doesn’t get in the way, he has a few adventures of his own.

http://suburbanbushwacker.blogspot.co.uk/

suburbanbushwacker@gmail.com

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Serena Hodgson – Willow and Craft Worker and Living Historian

Serena Hodgson – Willow and Craft Worker and Living Historian

Serena is a passionate environmentalist, educator and historian who achieved a Certificate in Permaculture in 2006 and graduated from the Open University in 2008 with a BSc(Hons) Environmental Studies.

After many years working as a psychiatric nurse and primary school teacher she decided to follow her heart and start a business working with willow, recycled materials and as a living historian.

Serena is a multi-skilled crafts-woman and an amazing cook.  Thank you for showing me how to drop spindle and use a peg loom…. and for the cakes!!  Nom! Nom! Nom!

www.serenahodgson.com

serena@serenahodgson.com

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Tina Langshaw – Creator of Beautiful Things

Tina Langshaw - Creator of Beautiful ThingsTina is an amazingly warm, creative and generous woman.  A natural healer and nurturer, she is knowledgable in alternative therapies and traditions.

She’s an experienced performer and organiser of large events and arts and crafts workshops.  She also enjoys foraging, preserving, and making her own household products and cosmetics.  She is deeply connected with nature and the art of recycling.

Tina is an amazing cook and inspirational cake maker.  She is a dear friend and a privilege to know.

A quiet and private person who shows her ‘cheeky’ side in small groups.

“Loves hugs, wine and cake!”

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Simon Wray – 3D Digital Artist

Simon Wray - 3D Digital ArtistSimon Wray graduated from Cumbria Institute of the Arts in 2005 and has worked as a 3D Digital Artist since that time.
Concentrating in the fields of animation, visual effects and motion graphics, he uses cutting edge technologies to bring ideas to life.  Simon has a strong admiration for nature and the environment and enjoys spending time in the countryside, particularly in his native Yorkshire Dales and further afield in Scotland. As a keen photographer he enjoys spending time outdoors photographing all types of animals, insects, plants and fungi. Through his nature photography Simon unites his digital skills with his interest in animals and their habitats.
Simon is open-minded when it comes to food and is always keen to try new things: “Eating animals that have been accidentally killed makes rational sense to me. In life they live a happier, healthier existence than the vast majority of animals reared for food today. They are often organic, not to mention free. We are making use of animals that would otherwise be left to decay, while reducing our reliance on big supermarket chains, not to mention our carbon footprint”.
In his spare time Simon enjoys mounting biking across challenging terrains and is currently planning a coast to coast ride for later in the year. As a seasoned cyclist he is rarely phased by a snowy cycle to work on a cold winter’s morning!

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  Hope you enjoy the show!!  

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