Monday, 23 April 2012

A bit of the dark and surreal

I was experimenting with charcoal rubbings for this project and inspired by the Pitts Museum came up with some interesting results.

The image on the left is a witch trapped inside a bottle.  It was thought that if urine, pins, hair etc were placed inside a bottle this would attract a witch and she would get trapped inside unable to cause any harm.  The Pitts Museum has an example on display that was found hidden in a house in Surrey.

The Screaming Mandrake on the right was produced from old folk tales.  If a mandrake was pulled from the earth then its screams would kill whoever heard it.  A rope was tied around the plant and a dog used to pull it up by its roots. Experienced witches however, could cast a circle of protection around them.  This was a subject that I encountered whilst writing my dissertation in the third year.  If you are ever in Boscastle, visit the Witches Museum it is full of strange historical items, including the Mandrake plant.

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