The site specific installations Reconnected 1 and Reconnected 2 by artist Philippe Handford can be found on England’s Pendle Sculpture Trail. The pieces are a sort of memorial to the area’s gruesome past. In 1612 Pendle Hill was the site of a witch trail that ended with the execution of ten people. Handford began his work with illegally felled tree. He reconnects the trunk each tree to the stump supported by metal hardware. The trees, though fallen, don’t seem entirely dead or gone. They strangely bend to the toward the earth as if resting.
Belgian documentary photographer Alice Smeets has traveled the world and covered everything from war to famine. However her series on Witchcraft has blown me away! This series captures the life and practices of the modern witchcraft practitioner by pulling back the veil on this ancient yet taboo tradition. Smeets says about this project:
“Modern Witchcraft is practiced across Europe, the USA and the rest of the Western World. It is extremely diverse; with beliefs that range widely from polytheism to animism, to pantheism and other paradigms. The largest movements of this self-termed Neo-Paganism are Wicca and Druidism; the followers of which call themselves Witches or Druids, sharing beliefs of Magic, Witchcraft and Nature’s Power. They respect their environment and celebrate eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year where they praise the divinities of nature. They often hold rituals – called Esbats – on the Full Moon. In part, they return to some of the old Celtic traditions.
While Wicca is a very young religion – formed by Gerald Gardner not more than 50 years ago, its roots are much older than Christianity. It has no relationship to Satanism, which is one of many misconceptions held by the public. Ancient pagan beliefs have begun to make their way into the Neo-Pagan community in many ways, making our spiritual path a very deep one, rooted and grounded in the very earth that supports us. From its origins in England it is now widely spread across Europe, America and the rest of the world. At the present time, Neo-Paganism is a large network of small communities with its own organizations, festivals, magazines, shops, workshops, gatherings and ceremonies. Witches can be found everywhere: in the supermarket, in the streets, as well as in our own neighborhood. And you would not know these Witches unless you were told who they were or were one yourself.”
Chris Pell is a 21 year old graduate from Brighton University. Pell is a very unique animator, photographer, and illustrator who uses religious symbolism in a majority of his work on Flickr. Just incase you were wondering, Pell loves “fantasy worlds, alchemy, soca music, mysticism, horror movies…” and the list goes on. He is readily available to take commissions and also has prints for sale upon contact.