It’s been a busy few months, and I realise I haven’t been blogging as frequently as last year. The main reasons for this is that I’ve been doing a lot more artwork (such as the drawing above - the full piece can be found here) as well as all the admin work that comes with publishing a book of my artwork.
I’ve also been doing stuff elsewhere, and I think there’s now enough to collate into a single post here:
The Dark (Folk) Arts of Paul Watson
An interview with me about my artwork, with particular reference to influences from the revival of interest in the Folk Horror (sub-)genre.
Meet the Badb Catha and her friends. Yes, out of the cold, sodden North we have managed to produce another of our weird art interviews. We had intended to ring the vet for more of Twiglet’s medicine, but then an artist called. Next time we’ll probably interview the vet and pump the artist full of anti-rheumatics syrup. That might be quite interesting.
We’re back in the UK today, and are delighted to introduce Paul Watson, a contemporary artist with a number of strings to his brooding bow. We met Paul through the Folk Horror Revival, and here he is in the e-flesh to talk to us.
Read the full interview at Grey Dog Tales (link opens in new tab/window).
Badb Catha — RJ Barker & Paul Watson
A bit of a change for me - a collaborative piece (words by RJ Barker, images, guitar, & backing vocals by yours truly), all based around my Badb Catha photographs, prints, and drawings.
Britain was once a place of forests. You will find our dreams and nightmares among the trees with the crows. We think of crows as strictly carrion eaters, but it’s a mistake. They’re omnivores — fierce and intelligent opportunists. They’ll take what they can, where they can: seeds, mice, baby birds, dead meat.
Read the full piece at Minor Literature[s] (link opens in new tab/window).
Myth and the Urban Landscape
And finally, moving somewhat outside my comfort zone of visual artwork, I wrote an inaugural article for launch of the #FolkloreThursday website.
Myth is germinated by the human mind, causing it to seep out from the soil and the trees and the rocks, clothed in the rags of the local landscape, to become folklore. The locality in question doesn’t necessarily have to be open and rural – alleyways, trees, bridges, and old buildings (particularly pubs) all have their fair share of local myth attached to them.
Just like our Neolithic ancestors, we seem to have a need to layer a ‘ritual landscape’ over the places around us, and ritual is the other important element that binds myth with landscape. Not far from my house in central urban Brighton is a site of the age-old ritual of tree decoration. Like most rituals, no one knows who started it, or exactly what its purpose is. Future archaeologists will be hesitant to make guesses and do their usual trick of simply defining it as ‘localised ritual activity’.
Read the full article by me on the #FolkloreThursday website (link opens in new tab/window).