Tag Archive: tribal art


“Menopausal Crow Woman”

The Truth Telling Years

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Medusa Truth tweeked

Marker pen and Menstrual Blood (Phase Three 2015)

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“Menopausal Crow Woman”

The Truth Telling Years

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Salutations Kali
Dark Goddess
Truth Sayer
Little Death Bringer
Devourer
Love me with All of your heart Benevolent Mother
Love me while you tear me apart and bestow your Dark Gifts
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I Know You Medusa
Adorned in Blood Serpents
Shedding your many Skins
Eyes blazing
Forever Transforming
Evolving
You insist you assist in my Peeling
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I Feel You Crow Woman
Emerging from my very core
Imparting the Deep Knowledge I have always Known
In my Blood
In my Bones
In my Chromosomes
The Wisdom of the Crones
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Deep Gratitude
For Many things
For my fledgling black wings
I stretch and flex,
Admiring their beauty and dark luminescence
One of many Gifts
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Compensation for the challenges of the Change
For the wrinkles and graying hair
On head, chin and down there
Preparing for the Blood to dry,
Eggs to die
For the now bi-monthly ‘Brain Fry’.
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 Fear and Release
As I slough the Layers from this Great Fuck-Off Onion
Feeling raw and exposed
My Heart aches like never before
Full of overwhelming Compassion,
Rage and Woe
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I visit the dark places
In my Mind
In my Psyche
Full of pain and fearful things
Doors and Boxes locked long ago
Inviting the Little Deaths so that I can grow
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So Beautiful
This flower
This Wise Gaping Wound
This Oracle of Change and Truth
Flowing
Now irregular and unexpected
Past the Velvet Folds looking a bit tattered and torn
This metaphorical Sheela with teeth
I claim them back
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“Come in!”
Come in to my cavernous nether mouth
Taste me, take me, devour me
I offer you the universe
In Exquisite details
Don’t dare oppress me, suppress me
For I WILL castrate you
Rip off and out your cock and throat
Paint all of my lips with your hot blood
Cloth myself in your entrails.
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But I still love you
With all of my heart
Even when I am tearing out yours.
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Kali
Medusa
Dark Goddess
Truth Sayer
Little Death Bringer
Devourer
Love me with All of your heart Benevolent Mother
Love me while you tear me apart and bestow your Dark Gifts
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by Alison (Tribal) Brierley
(2015)
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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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“The ‘Harey’ Ushanka”

AVIATOR/ TRAPPER HAT

harey ushanka 3

Made from recycled materials and a Roadkill Fox and Hare.

 (Completed in 2013)

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The “Ushanka”- meaning  literally “ear hat”.

This style of hat is found across the globe,  protecting the ears of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Canadian Mounties, continental police officers, pouting models on catwalks, and pretty much everyone in between, from temperatures as low -70c.

The Ushanka hat has been worn in Russia, Scandinavia and Germany for centuries, and there are  suggestions of it having been worn by nomads of central Asia and the arctic.   Often made with sheepskin, or thick muskrat, rabbit and mink fur.  The ear flaps provides warmth and protection from wind, impact and falling winter hazards, like icicles or branches.

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This hat was made for my new baby.

The outer was made from a pair of recycled suede trousers.  The inner was made from my little ones snugly orange pumpkin Samhain baby-grow.  The white ear flaps were made from the tip of a Roadkill Fox’s tail.  The rest of the fur is from the same Roadkill Hare that was utilised in the making of “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” fertility fetish object.

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I guess what surprised me the most about making this hat was how damn quickly he grew out of it, lol.

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For more information on the making of the

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

(Completed in 2009)

read on….

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This project began in 2009 during a week-long ‘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.

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H2840008 H2840035

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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 now dangles in the window of my motorhome as we drive along, bobbing away to music and the rhythm of the road surfaces, up-front and part of our lives.

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Makes a change from fluffy dice!

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To read the full blog click here!

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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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“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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“KALI’S PANTS – AKA – NICE BEAVER”

Shamanic Shakti Beaver & Pike Merkin

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SAY “NO” TO FEMALE CIRCUMCISION.

“KALI'S PANTS - AKA - NICE BEAVER” – SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER FUR MERKIN – VULVA ART

“KALI’S PANTS – AKA – NICE BEAVER” – SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER FUR MERKIN – VULVA ART

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“KALI’S PANTS – AKA – NICE BEAVER” – Made from recycled materials

(Completed 2009)

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“Kali’s Pants” started off as a joke!  At the time I had an opportunity to recycle a piece of an old vintage fur coat – made from real BEAVER!

I had the idea of making a furry ‘Merkin’!  Ohhh, the jokes were flowing, lol!

Even though there was humour running through my idea, it still had the usual shamanic undertones of a serious work of art and genuine attempt at self-realization/actualization.

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BEAVER SYMBOLISM

  • Clearer understanding of our subconscious thoughts and dreams
  • Ability to mould our thoughts more constructively to suit our needs
  • Determination to follow our dreams
  • Diligence to keep and reach our goals
  • Balance and flexibility concerning ourselves and our expectations
  • Take time for self, friends and family. The people in our lives are most precious

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My finished piece looked great and was named – “NICE BEAVER” – inspired by the classic quip from the legendary Leslie Nielsen from the movie  “The Naked Gun”.

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nice beaver, frank drebben

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[Jane Spencer climbs a ladder]

Lt Frank Drebin (played by Nielsen: Nice beaver!

Jane: [producing a stuffed beaver] Thank you. I just had it stuffed.

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(click on the picture to see the clip on youtube!)

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It was during a visit to a friend’s house that the furry ‘bikini-bottom’ performance art piece “Nice Beaver” was re-named “Kali’s Pants”. 

My friend and I often swap oddities and make things from dead bits, this occasion was no different.  The addition of a predatory Pike jaw bone, a handmade red velvet vulva that I quickly whipped up and a piece of Dragons Blood incense to intensify ‘potency’ made ‘Nice Beaver’ take on greater spiritual and emotional meaning!  It became a thing of power.  It made one wince.

It was re-named after the fearful and ferocious form of the Dark Mother Goddess –  Kali.

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The Dark Mother Goddess Kali

“Women do not only ‘give’ life, they ‘take’ it also”. 

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An obvious aspect of ‘Kali’s Pants’ – AKA – ‘Nice Beaver’ needed addressing – the fact that this vagina had TEETH!

It felt perfectly natural that this particular merkin should have them – and that I needed to take a little ‘time-out’ for some serious introspection!  lol.

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“The Vagina Dentata is an image or an attitude being reclaimed by women in the world today, that of the aggressive, powerful female who is a danger to any man who seeks to conquer or oppress. Women are reclaiming their metaphorical vagina teeth and are prepared to bite back!”

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Vaginal teeth motifs exist in myths, stories and jokes all over the world, showing up as a symbol of aggression and revenge in women.  The idea of a vagina with teeth dates as far back as Greek mythology and is rooted in the idea that the female body has hidden, dangerous secrets and that a man who has sex with a woman may risk castration.

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teeth-movie-poster2

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“KALI’S PANTS – AKA – NICE BEAVER” made her debut art performance at one of my regular festivals the same year, and the response was dramatic and dynamic!

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Since then, when the mood takes, she has empowered the occasional Women’s Gathering and Shakti Dance.

I have also decided to use her to ‘figure-head’ my protest against FEMALE CIRCUMCISION.

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"Kali's Pants" - aka - "Nice Beaver"

She currently resides on my sunscreen in the van, lol.

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As with much of my work, I aspire to gently push the experiencer, 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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A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ‘VAGINA DENTATA’

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(taken from an excellent article with further links – read on…)

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‘Vagina Dentata’ is a widespread, archetypal fear to be found in mythology, symbolism and faiths worldwide. It is evocative of a subconscious belief that a woman may devour or consume her partner during sex, believed to be aroused by the mouth-symbolism of the vagina. Sigmund Freud, who coined the term, said, “Probably no male human being is spared the terrifying shock of threatened castration at the sight of the female genitals.”

Visions of a gaping, hungry vagina lined with rows of sharp teeth have been predominant throughout especially patriarchal societies, representing the fear the destructive man has of being conquered by what he seeks to oppress. 

“Metaphorically, every vagina has secret teeth, for the male exits as less than when he entered.” said Camille Paglia in “Sexual Personae”.

Risen with the belief they are superior to women, the weakness and impotence felt after the moment of ejaculation awakens unconscious fears of having been devoured. It is a belief in many cultures that the man expels his energy in ejaculation, while the woman draws it into herself, and adds it to her own energy.

  
In ancient civilisations, women do not only give life, they take it also. Dark Goddesses are the manifestation of the warm, nurturing womb, and the devouring gateway to the afterlife.  The Norse Goddess Hel ruled over Helheim, whose gateway was a vagina, or ‘yoni’ and the Christians, who adopted Hel’s name into ‘Hell’ for their afterworld, often depicted the gateway to Hell as lined with teeth, and looking very much like female genitalia. The Indus symbol for women was a comb, which was symbolic of the vagina dentata. The vagina having the same capacity to consume as the ocean – also a feminine symbol – and whose waves were said to be teeth. 

Vagina Dentatism and its prevalence in religions (readers advised to visit the below link to what Barbara Walker says about it, for a more complete overview of these) would seem to be mankind’s fear of being conquered, of being weakened and taken back to what he was as a mere foetus, germinating within the womb.

This fear continues today, now taking the form within art and pop culture. Picasso, among others, had depictions of the vagina dentata is his artworks, movies such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Candyman and even one episode of Batman, where Poison Ivy’s giant Venus fly trap engulfs her victims, contain vagina dentata imagery and it is a popular area of study for feminists, theologists, mythologists and historians.

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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

SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE

 SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE - Made from recycled materials feathers from the capes of seven golden roadkill pheasants - 2 years in the making, completed at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, modelled beautifully by Visual & Shamanic Artist KATIE SURRIDGE of London.

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SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE – Made from recycled materials and bronze tipit feathers from the capes of seven Common Ring-necked roadkill Pheasants – 2 years in the making, completed at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, modelled beautifully by Visual and Shamanic Artist KATIE SURRIDGE of London.

 (Completed during my artists residency at the Nomadic Village 2012)

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This project began in 2010 following a one month expedition into the Amazon rainforest.

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     Whilst studying anthropology and teaching art workshops in the villages I was greatly inspired by their animistic art forms, especially the shamanic feather work of certain tribes of the Upper Rio Negro region.  I found their love and understanding of the harsh reality of nature very moving.

I was impressed by their sustainable collection techniques.  Instead of killing the birds required for each piece (a technique employed by most societies) these people, deeply in touch with their environment, simply trapped them, plucked a few choice plumes, then released them – enabling the feathers to grow back (and in the process making them harder to catch next time!!).

I wanted to create something similar and sustainable, using feathers from the male pheasant found in the UK. – So I used roadkill (no surprise there then, lol).

Pheasants make excellent animal totems for many reasons.  Their essence stimulates sexuality, encourages creativity, and enhances energy.  Only certain plumes – tipits- picked from the chest area, of seven pheasants in total, were used in the creation of this cape.

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

Thank you Katie for being my model, I knew you would look beautiful together.

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In 2015 this Shamanic Roadkill Cape ventured into another realm of“Animality”

by artist and photographer Casey Orr

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“WOMEN, ANIMALS, INSTINCT”

 

Tribal Ali by Casey Orr for The Animal Library poster“The Animal Library – Women, Animals and Instinct” examines how Nature and Culture intertwine and explores the different relationships women have with animals; the cultural understanding of the language of women, the histories of women and nature, and our relationship to animals and our animal selves through photographs and reproductions of the books and library artefacts.

I was photographed along with 10 other women who embody what she hopes to explore and communicate – an understanding of culture as not separate from nature but that the two are intertwined; both integral to a definition what it is to be human.

This photographic exhibition in two parts. The first series explores the different relationships women have with animals. These are large-scale portraits that range from women who align themselves with animals and their inherent powers through the wearing of fur, animal print and leather to women who, through animal husbandry and farm work, have a daily commitment to animals.

The second part of the exhibition is in response to the library collections. This series of large-scale photographs examines our cultural understanding of the language of women, the histories of women and nature, and our relationship to animals and our animal selves through photographs and reproductions of the books and library artefacts.

So, if you want to explore woman’s wild and feral nature, the connection we feel to our culture, Nature, each other and more, pop in and have a look!

1st December – 9th January 2016 – “THE ANIMAL LIBRARY- WOMEN, ANIMALS, INSTINCT” – The venue is in Leeds City Central Library, in the City Centre.

There is a special talk by the artist on the 8th of December, 5.30pm – 6.30pm. The admission is free but you need to register your name for a ticket. Places for the talk are limited. I’ll definitely be going

www.caseyorr.com

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Look out for blogs on my other projects created at Nomadic Village – PLACENTA ART  &  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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BURNING MAN – BLACK ROCK CITY 2011

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As we left BLACK ROCK CITY (BRC) in the Nevada Desert and the iconic “BURNING MAN” celebration, I can’t help feeling, “thank feck for that!!!”.   Nothing can prepare a ‘Newbie’, especially one who is three months pregnant, to this onslaught of the senses!

The heat, the dust, the dust and the dust!!  Phewww!!  It was a challenge and a worry knowing that I was subjecting myself to extreme survival situations only having ‘just’ come out of that First Trimester hormonally-up-and-down ‘sicky’ stage.  I was glad that I decided NOT to crew and instead be a ‘gentle’ participant and contributor at this massive event.  I knew I could leave at anytime.  There was no way I was going to put my pregnancy in jeopardy.

The event is characterized by massive art projects, its namesake at the centre which is burnt towards the close.  Participants head into the desert each year to build a working city from the ground up.  This includes an airport, a post office, radio station, hospital and security teams (to name a few).  Self-styled “burners” exercise radical self-reliance, community, civic responsibility and an economy based on giving freely.  It has a beautiful ethos, and there is an air of excitement, acceptance of artistic expression and hedonism like no other I have ever experienced.

Burning Man started with an 8-foot structure burning on a beach in California at summer solstice and has morphed into a sophisticated community with year-round projects.

“LOVE THE DUST MAN!!”

This anti-establishment arts festival and survival project, created from the grey alluvium of the Black Rock Desert, however, leaves its mark in your heart.  It is truly an amazing experience and my RIGHT OF PASSAGE was a success.  I did miss my old wild-party self  and it would have been a very different experience indeed had I not abstained from pretty much ‘everything’! lol.  But this was ‘my’ Right of Passage, and one I accepted in a state of content and happy surrender, with only the occasional bit of frustration!

I did, however, during the cooler hours of the day (when I could venture away from the shade and a loo),  explore, experiment and participate in BRC’s weird and wonderful workshops and events.

Our performance of Mr & Mrs Mud, inspired by our adoptive Asaro tribal family in Papua New Guinea, was a huge success and was very well received.  I was chuffed to have been chosen to receive an award, certificate and medal for our artistic tribal contribution.

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