- Where & When
- The Story Behind 'The Witches'
- The Artists
- The Artwork
- Music, Venue, Drinks & Food
- The Real Pendle Witches
- Contact The Witches
The witches are here. They’ve all come back.
INKYMOLE | TOM HARE | ANTHONY SAINT JAMES | ED GARLAND
A visual exploration of what might happen if the infamous Pendle Witches – hung in 1612 for crimes of witchcraft – came back.
UK-based illustrator Sarah Coleman, aka Inkymole, teams up with New York photographer Anthony Saint James, willow artist Tom Hare and writer Ed Garland to present an intriguing and deliciously dark take on the witchhunts of the 1600s.
Unsettling photography, twisted shadowy figures and expressive type-led illustration combine in response to the wicked and uneasy ‘confessions’ of the modern-day witches, penned by Manchester-born Garland.
A suitably atmospheric soundtrack is provided by Demdike Stare.
Opening Party: Thursday October 29th 2009 at 6.30pm
'Pendle Witch Brew' sponsored by Moorhouses | Music by Demdike Stare | Food by Jed Smith
Show open till November 5thEASTGALLERY
214 Brick Lane
London E1 6SA
In 1612 thirteen people, two men and eleven women from two warring families,
were convicted of witchcraft at Lancaster gaol.
Ten were hung, three imprisoned.
They were alleged to have been responsible for the murder by witchcraft of seventeen people in and around the forest of Pendle. For reasons no-one has ever really understood, they all confessed; without torture or other means of extraction, they simply told of their witchcraft quite voluntarily, and appeared to believe in their guilt, and that of their friends and family, without question. But before confessing themselves, they first incriminated each other.
In and around England in 2009, stories of straight-up weird behaviour, happenings, oddness, cruelty, bullying, and tears are starting to emerge. They're mostly from women. About women. In factories, shops, schools, nursing homes, discos, nail bars, surgeries.
The witches are here. They've all come back.
If Alice Nutter, Demdike, Alizon, Elizabeth and James Device, Annie Whittle aka Chattox, Anne Redferne, Katherine Hewitt, John Bulcock and Isobel Robey were alive in England in 2009, what would their stories be? They may not be witches, but they sure as hell believe they are.
Having discovered during research that the root word for Witch and Wicker was the same, and having fiddled around with ideas using effigies and dolls, I asked my friend Tom Hare to make 13 Witches - no two the same, ten female, two male. No real brief, just - "make them happen". These would be the Poppets made by each of the witches, whose personalities I would tease out with heads, hints of clothing, and personal ephemera, just as if the ugly crones had made an attempt themselves. Real hair, wax, jewellery, stitches, fabric, dolls, buttons, cats and dogs - it all went in.
At the same time, the witches’ stories I knew well by now, but I needed to give voice to their 2009 incarnations. I asked my Sale-born friend Ed Garland, with whom I’d already collaborated on a few pieces, to write their confessions anew - for the year they all came back.
And the show was a hit - for those of course who could see it, since TBWA was never open to the public. It had to be shown! In August 2009 I’d been working with New York photographer Anthony Saint James for some time, and knew he had a sinister touch to the edges of a lot of his work. He was the perfect partner in crime for the final visual pieces which accompanied Tom Hare’s witches’ poppets.
Writer. Prefers the dark and the funny. Loves a sharp deadline. Would like more. Has no fixed abode. Is always available.
Sarah Coleman aka Inkymole
Illustrator. Loves ink and nibs, paper and words. Adores Hallowe’en. Has only seen one ghost, a cat called Pepe.
Magical willow artist. Craft from the coppice. Tiny seed pods to awesome archways and baskets that hold people.
Anthony Saint James
Photographer. Eyeball-deep in the mysteries of light and magic.
Makes deadly sauces and has a penchant for English soaps.
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Demdike Stare is the occult new project from Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty. Miles is probably better known as Modern Love's DJ MLZ and is one half of Pendle Coven. Sean Canty is the dedicated digger behind the Haxan events and a member of the Finders Keepers crew of vinyl vultures. Their collaborative project tracks the sonic leylines of cult soundtracks, Arabesque dubs and psychotomimetic ephemera with a proper Lancastrian twist:
Moorhouses, Burnley-based brewers of Blond Witch, Pendle Witch Beer and Black Cat, also has three freehouses including the Pendle Witch at Atherton. David Grant at Moorhouses has been kind enough to supply the show with a few crates of his Pendle Witch:
Monsieur Smith works by day (and often into the dark) at a Michelin starred restaurant in the heart of London. By night, he conducts gastronomic experiments in his tiny East London kitchen. Jed also created the food for If A Girl Writes Off The World in London 2006 and New York 2007, and this is his third outing with Inkymole. He has created a vegan 1600s buffet for The Witches. An oxymoron? We’d like to see you say that to his face...
Eastgallery is run by Andreja and Galic.
Their wonderful clean space is available for rent, and they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org