I’m heading down to Glastonbury this weekend for Halloween. This autumn festival always used to be quite a big deal when I was growing up in Suffolk and I have fond and funny memories of nights out at Oaksmere and Thornham Magna, seeing John Cooper Clarke, being shouted at by one-toothed angry farmers screaming ‘Get off my land!’, and eagerly anticipating whether the witch on the zip wire would make her full flight. She never did!
It’s the first time in a while that I’ve had the chance to celebrate Halloween properly and I think I may have got a little carried away. My brother has just moved to the West Country to take on La Terre, a bar and cafe in Glastonbury town. This is their first big event, there’s a delta swamp blues band and the theme is Louisiana Voodoo.
So, maybe not your average housewarming gift, but here goes Voodoo! I’m going to make myself a custome and something for them to hang on the wall – Voodoo-style.
Wow! It’s amazing (and a little frightening) what you can get on the internet these days. I purchased myself a whole sheep skull. A tad grim, but after a couple of days in a bucket of bleach I felt comfortable it was truly dead, and a delicate little rabbit skull. I did also spot a taxidermy crocodile head going for a tenner! Then I took a walk around the park, gathered some sticks, fished some feathers out the duck pond and had a look through granny’s old embroidery stash. And a ha! I knew there was a reason I kept those horrid beads that looked a bit like bones for over 20 years!
We’ve had a couple of exhibitions at the shop recently that definitely influenced my choice of colours. Both Martha Copeland and Johnathan Reiner‘s female portraits exploring ceremonious dress and tribal skin markings tackle notions of beauty, worship and costume. I revisited those, sat down to a large dosage of True Detective and then set to task.
So after quite a lot of twisting, winding, braiding, weaving etc this was the result. The final touch being some of granny’s gold buttons that I attached to the sheep’s eye sockets. She’s currently in the shop window scaring away our potential customers! (The sheep skull – not my granny)
I thought the sheep’s skull might be a bit awkward to wear as a headdress so I decided to make something a little smaller out of the rabbit skull. My brothers always used to mock me for my ‘Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth’ teenage tantrums. I’ve just got a bit closer to playing the part.