Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Howl.

For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, 
and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
- Rudyard Kipling

I've become an official member of the art collective, 'Pack of Wolves'.
And we're having an exhibition in East London in a couple weeks:





























Here's the buzz:

'New Folk Visionaries is an exhibition by the Pack of Wolves that will explore aspects relating to “contemporary folk and visionary talent on the outside edge”. This group show will feature the work of five emerging artists.

Experience storytelling, legend, tradition, the uncanny and obscure in the form of paintings, drawings, puppets, masks, stitch, sculpture, 3D objects and film from Marie-Louise Plum, Mark Scott Wood, Faye Scott-Farrington, Spike Dennis and Layla Holzer.

Traditionally outsiders, folk people and visionaries are self-taught, marginalised from mainstream society, on the fringes. Despite our modern times of social networking and self-promotion, the Pack of Wolves have never stopped celebrating what it is to be an outsider, and we carry on those themes in a contemporary way within our work and our investigations.

Something we all share is humour. We poke fun at the norm, with our ugly-beauty and tongue-in-cheek commentary on social mores and what is acceptable and what is not.

We learn craft. We talk to people. Make our puppets from driftwood, our witches eyes from plastic coated bagels. We celebrate the mundane and make it magical.

An exciting jamboree of painting, drawing, stitching, crafting, building, puppeteering, performing, witching, spelling, hoaxing and coaxing, using self-taught traditional skills will be on display, with the emphasis on the way of the outsider.'

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Moon Rah!




































The second beautiful drawing by Daria Hlazatova that was inspired by a Moth Rah photo shoot.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Ritual

After much daydreaming and in the absence of any budget, I finally took it upon myself to make a music video.

It needed to be something simple. I often dream up ideas that involve splendid locations, a cast and an expert film crew but in this instance I had to be resourceful and use what I had to hand.

This shot shows all the props that were used:


























The day before filming I went around London collecting a few things I needed. I visited my grandma to borrow a small animal skull and then went to my mother's to pick up her crystal ball. (It's so useful to know the right people :p)

I stayed up all night filming and I have been editing it this week.

It was my first foray into movie making.

Check out my (not-so) hi-tech camera set up:
That's a smartphone balanced in an ornamental letter holder, atop of an old 60s tripod that my dad still had lying around.

As you can see, no expense was spared when it came to the director's chair :p

Anyway, I look forward to showing you the results!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Erl-King


"The woods enclose. You step between the first trees and then you are no longer in the open air; the wood swallows you up." - Angela Carter, The Erl-King 

In Angela Carter's fairytale a young woman is seduced by The Erl-King who lives in the woods. His eyes are green as if from looking at too much wood and the caged birds that sing his song were once human girls.

The illustrator and puppeteer, Layla Holzer, is making a short film adaptation of the story, mixing live action, stop motion and her beautiful, hand-crafted puppets. I'll be composing an original score for the film. While the final cut is in production an interim version will be posted online, featuring music from the 'Girl/Phoenix' EP and also previously unheard snippets from new Moth Rah songs. A promise of things to come!





























You can see more about this project and Layla's fairytale inspired work at LaylaHolzer.com

Monday, 7 April 2014

Of Golden Eggs and Trees That Stare






















 Long term collaborator, friend and artist extraordinaire, Daria Hlazatova, drew this beautiful portrait of me.

It's inspired by some photos we took last month on a windy day in a London park.  I'm really looking forward to showing them to you!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Legend of the Demon Tree

My vocals have been used by one known as 'Melmoth the Wanderer' on the hauntology* track, 'The Legend of the Demon Tree'.

Using audio relics taken from the now (all but) forgotten Portuguese television series, the 'Field Bazaar', Melmoth has reconstructed the atmosphere and scenes of different episodes.

In 'The Legend of the Demon Tree', the Wanderer has sent a disturbing update from a haunted wood on the eastern edge of the Field Bazaar - he reports that legends of the Demon Tree are rife in this area and that there have been several unexplained disappearances recently. 

Will you join him as he investigates these claims further? 




 * Hauntology is an idea within the philosophy of history, referring to the idea of "the paradoxical state of the spectre, which is neither being nor non-being" and acknowledges the notion that the present only exists in relation to the past.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Prickly Forests and Castles Made of Sand



Jardin Marjorelle



Apothecary

Essaouira


Camel prints



These photos were taken on a ten day trip to Morocco from which I have just returned. I stayed for a few days in the hippie beach town of Essaouira where Jimi Hendrix used to live and about which it is claimed he wrote the song 'Castles Made of Sand'.

In Marrakesh I took recordings of the drumming in Jamaa El Fna square, and also sampled peacock cries in Taroudant. So those may work their way into some songs of mine soon.