FROM THE EDITOR
Reality is spooky enough these days, rest assured we don't really need to go down the Halloween kitsch rabbit hole for a 'theme' edition. Actually, maybe a problem is that very little is actually spooky anymore. About as spooky as a dentist's office - which is to say banal yet terrifying.
But maybe embracing a bit of magic in our lives and thinking can be useful. I've always thought art (making or appreciating) is often a matter of maintaining one's enchantment. Even morbid enchantment in the face of actual horror, like photographer Vladyslav Krasnoshchok's haunting, lo-fi renderings of Ukraine's devastation. Or the hyper-detailed insects in Kate Samworth's new scratchboards, somehow evoking both their gothic power and the undercurrent of environmental dystopia that may await the creatures. As artists, both seem to intuitively understand that telling us less can increase the work's power.
Sometimes art in these times can get stuck between fairy-tale sugarcoating and overly literal, heavy-handed didacticism. Art such as theirs which can be mysterious AND descriptive, with a deft ability to remove the viewer just enough from reality to pull them in for the punch - when more abstraction would soften things too much, and more harsh realism would repel us - is magical indeed.
Takoma Park, MD, USA - Bill Crandall
Stumbled on this baffling scene on my walk. Two mature trees about 25 feet from each other were felled, by what I don’t know. They are near the top of a slope down toward Sligo Creek, but they weren’t uprooted. Both were snapped off in a similar way, near the bottom of the trunk. No way they were both struck by lightning, and there was no sign of that. They fell in a tangled mess with each other and the surrounding trees, which partially caught them. It was really very strange the more I investigated. Nearby there was also some oddly flattened bamboo.
I think some quite large trolls passed through, possibly Raglefant, Tusseladd or even the massive Jötnar. Not sure what else could have done this (though trolls tend to uproot trees to use in battle).
War landscapes from Ukraine.
Just finished some insect illustrations, including the Japanese Owl Moth, Domino Cuckoo Bee, Alien Cicada, and Lightning Bug. Scratchboard, as per usual. Available here.
Iceland Airwaves starts this week, yo. Pretty much every act is guaranteed to be at least interesting. This is no comforting Preservation Hall of genres, these are artists pushing boundaries.
Super interesting and well-done short history of the banjo in black music, and on ‘field recordings from the future’.
Washington Post | Oct 3, 2022
Her 10th album sounds as otherworldly as ever, but her music remains rooted in the fragile ecology we share
“[My] songs have urgent work to do. I send them out into the world, bright emissaries of the spirit, to travel where they are needed, collecting souls as they go – to the joyful and the disheartened, the sick and the well, the grievers and those yet to grieve, the lost and the found, the good and the bad and the somewhere in-between.”
Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files
Studio 88 Artist Residency is calling for visual artists to apply for a special residency on the theme “The AiR We Breathe”, to be part of the Art for Air Festival 2023 in Chiangmai.
The four-week programme in our residency space in Doi Saket, 30 minutes from the centre of Chiangmai, explores the topic of air quality. The residency is open to national and international artists, arts collectives, and creative practitioners with diverse visual art forms and/or cross-disciplinary approaches.
Application deadline: 13 November 2022
As nature cries out for us to change our ways, it’s time to look at our home with fresh eyes. How would a visitor to Earth see the planet? How would they see us? In these images, captured through the lenses of nine visionary photographers, we glimpse an all-too-familiar world, as if for the first time.