Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a studio visit with caitlin t. mccormack

Ex Sanguine

last month i had the opportunity to visit the studio of local philly artist caitlin t. mccormack as she prepared for her solo show, 'interhaven' opening at paradigm gallery this friday.

caitlin, a bit smaller than myself, arrived to open her door to me in a bright lisa frank t-shirt. a little silky slip of a black kitten slept deeply on her couch as i settled into feeling comfortable enough to withdraw the eye of my camera & document the landscape caitlin had built for herself. her home, like my own, and nearly every other studio i have visited during the years i worked for hi-fructose was freckled with books. odd objects of inspiration; bones and bell jars and tiny pieces of personal debris were netted together to build a home, to build a place to work quietly in solitude, a place to feel safe. the lingering presence of the quay brothers was found in many a corner and beneath the wilder mann book, max ernst's collage novel, ( & my own personal bible) 'une semaine du bonte' waited like a favorite letter, worn and loved.

like most of the work i am attracted to, there is a certain amount of somberness imbued in these captured skeletal bodies, each formed from long threads which are un-coiled from a spool in caitlin's hands, beneath her quick fingers & hooks. she began this work after losing both of her grandparents, who passed away within months of each other; her grandmother who taught her how to crochet, an inherited, repetitious act of creation & her grandfather who carved life-like bird sculptures. their inspiration is seen in both the medium and the form of her work, beautiful testaments to those beloved.

 at the heart, the work is a testament to these loses, perhaps behaving as conjured ghosts, poetic gestures of antaomy, forever in an inanimate sleep, delicate & honest in the silent tales of life and death they tell.

for currently available work & news about friday's opening, visit here. 
for more insight into the ideas behind her work, visit here.


Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Umbrella Sentinel

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Crawlspace

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit

Caitlin McCormack

Caitlin McCormack

Caitlin McCormack Studio Visit


*supplementary images of the finished works via paradigm gallery*

Thursday, June 26, 2014

what is and isn't there.

Paul Nougé

Paul Nougé

Paul Nougé

Paul Nougé

i recently came across a collection of photographs, 'la subversion des images' by belgian surrealist paul nougé (who seemed to be an essential leader of the belgian sect, but who now appears relatively obscure in research) via the bottomless rabbit hole of tumblr and realized i had often come across the first one in the past; it is nice now to put a name to an image that has seeped into my private cosmos for so long ( it does also feel to me, so akin to francesca woodman & love to think how this may have been a muse to her works. ) to know these were created during a period of surrealist unfurlings thrills me in the way nearly anything dreamlike and obsessive and strange the surrealists have conjured up from that darkly absurd ether does. 

as poetic meditations on the obsession with 'objects' (both real and imagined in these cases), i feel a certain kinship with the spooky anxiety so palpably alive; manic levitation, fretful conjuring, the mutual madness of like-minded friends, a haunting finger perhaps pointing to an unseen fate gorged with doom.....

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dark Spring Sale News

BloodMilk_Sale1_0614-2

Part I of my Bi-Annual sale is nearly here !

Running this Friday, June 6th through Monday, June 9th, (Eastern US time) most of my line will be marked down 20% in my online webshop only: bloodmilkjewels.com.  I will *not* be holding this sale on Etsy.

There is no coupon code, everything will already be priced at the 20% less price point during the Easter US hours between 6/6 - 6/9.

The sale includes everything EXCEPT for the pieces with natural crystals & gemstones, i.e. anyjewel that includes a Moonstone, Labradorite, Obsidian or Quartz piece WILL NOT be on sale, but will still be available for purchase during the sale time.

The sale WILL INCLUDE everything else, including the jewels with the black cz's as well as the magnifying glass pieces.


I hold this sale twice a year as a way to extend my gratitude for all of your kind support. Blood Milk is still a small independent business it still surprises me to have such an immensely positive audience. I am forever grateful to be given the opportunity to share my jewels and personal vision with you all.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate email us here: bloodmilkjewels@gmail.com. Kim or myself will get back to you in a timely fashion.

Thank you ! <3 p="">

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

strange love & spring.

katerina plotnikova

katerina plotnikova

katerina plotnikova

katerina plotnikova

paul sent me over these images from russian artist katerina plotnikova & they immediately conjure the aura of ancient fairy tales; the beauty who falls for the bear, the maiden who speaks in the tongues of animals, deep in the woods where, if nothing else, the mystery of life pulses, the locus of all dreams, both dark and light. there is a certain romance here, edged with the darkness of the savagery these animals possess, the brilliant oddness of the unlikely pairings. 


the spring weather is looming & with the subtle breaks in the east coast coldness, change is inevitable. i think of loss & i think of love & also, as well, how quickly time has passed since i last ruptured my life in early 2012. it is hard these days to tell exactly where home is, but in some ways, the idea of the forest and her teeming wildness, will always be one of mine, in mind. 

ps (live animals, no taxidermy !)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

on solitude.

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

always the deep of winter makes me go into a kind of inner retreat. nothing feels firm or fixed or even real, though the promise of spring becomes a lure that flashes brilliantly in the endless sea of winter. artist andy goldsworthy's work speaks of this isolation; there is a poignant & disquieting solitude in his structures. paul introduced me to him last year (winter?) via his film 'rivers and tides' and i was absolutely snared watching the artist carefully form and stack and bend and arrange ice and sticks and leaves and rocks; all which bloomed beneath his patience and focus. this kind of impermanent making reminds me of the temporary nature of both winter and the murky feelings that i often couple with during its long tenure.

"I go into solitude so as not to drink out of everybody's cistern. When I am among the many I live as the many do, and I do not think I really think. After a time it always seems as if they want to banish my self from myself and rob me of my soul." - Nietzsche

(winter please be over.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

february cabinet.

an iceberg near head of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, taken sometime between 1900-1920
(taken sometime between 1900-1920)


*lately* (or at least, last month)

reading:

* much like the last time i shared a cabinet of my currents, i unfortunately don't have time for reading. this sad truth is wholly in my control & so i have been trying to be more mindful (as reading truly is my first love) & take small bites from books of short stories. i just got in a hefty box from cake train  and have been nibbling on their 11th issue. it is filled with clipped dark gems, precisely the kind of writing that most attracts me. 

*i've also been slowly devouring lou beach's book '420.' it is a jewel box of tiny writings, all about 420 characters long, based on the amount of characters facebook allows for status updates. some are strange, others carry quite a profound weight for their miniature statures. i found him via my lovely customer service gal friday kim / wildthorne. 

* loved this post on the living apex blog on reasons to read more ( i agree with his theory of how we veg out on visual media) and its subsequent follow up with tips on how to read more ( i agree with his theory on keeping books in proximity, my/our homes are littered with books everywhere. i even sleep with them when i am in my loft. perfect bedfellows to fill the empty space.)


viewing/listening:

* we recently watched the gorgeous yet almost story-less 'only lovers left alive,'  a few of you mentioned on IG about this one when i posted on my previous film entry & rightly so. it featured a kind of trifecta of attraction for me; strange surrealist lady bird tilda swinton has never looked better in a role (seriously, when she is "packing" for her trip and fondles each book before she tucks it in her suitcase, i was breathless with pure visual pleasure and had an immediate, deep relation to her character), mia wasikowska has a small (albeit bratty role, you almost clap when she exits,)  & its a guiltypleasurevampirefilm that's somehow not nearly as cliche or predictable as one would expect from a supernatural romance. mostly what caught me was the morose melancholy meditations on life and the act of living, as well as the brilliant soundtrack, which was laden with jim jarmusch's band, sqürl, and has haunted me these past few weeks since. detroit also never looked so magical.

* les revenants is a french program that features the 'returned' dead, just as they were when they were alive ( an equally unsettling and complicatedly delightful notion.) they are neither zombies or ghosts (or at least at the point i'm at in the season anyway.) it is slow paced and creepy and has a beautifully haunting soundtrack as well by mogwai. i haven't finished watching it so won't say more, for now . . .

cocoon life:

* dreaming of building new/olde bookshelves and other moods for melancholy/new rooms over on my pinterest. 


fixed:

*i've written on here before about my strange attraction to icebergs/ glaciers. lately i've slowly been writing again and these primordial giants are seeping into my thoughts . . .

bloodmilk news:

* this is a bit belated but so many thanks for all the support and patience over the past holiday season. i am slowly working on streamlining things and building a tiny team as i navigate my growing pains while remaining as independent and community based as possible. <3 p="">
* i just listed high polish finish versions of a few of my most popular rings in the shop. 

* as i mentioned recently on IG, i am working on creating wedding bands for both of the 'belonging' rings as well as a third sister version. i hope to have more news on these soon, but for now, they are being designed to specifically 'lock' around each ring but will also look equally as nice work alone. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

the deep of winter, blood films.

Stoker

stoker.

Byzantium

byzantium

Kiss of The Damned

kiss of the damned

Jug Face

jug face 

often times in the ice laden and melancholic depths of winter, i find comfort in crawling into my cocoon bed and escaping any way possible after work, via books or film. i love stories, whether printed or visual. the above 4  films are some of my current favorites. two of them are (guilty pleasure, though in terms of monsters, zombies will always win my heart) vampire films, but all seem to share that tumultuous dance on the fault line of right and wrong from the female pov, a kind of acceptance of fate and a coming of age. all four films share a focus on cinematic beauty juxtaposed with elements of the strange; a calculated eye is always employed, whether in the way a scene is composed, the way blood flows or how the female leads are fashioned.

stoker is one of those movies i find myself replaying at night before i go to sleep ( i have also done this with brothers quay and fight club) there is something about a quiet, darkly told tale that feels like a lullaby to me. this film is so beautifully shot, the carefully staged scenes and moments almost eclipse the tale at the heart of the film. it is well written and subtly poisonous, but this almost doesn't seem to matter. mia wasikowska has quickly become a favorite actress, and here, for me, she is like stepping into the sea. dangerous & quietly smooth.

we watched byzantium before the holidays and there were scenes that really snared me, specifically the moment when one is 'turned.' i don't want to give too much away but at the heart of this film, as in many vamp movies, the grappling with morality and guilt makes a bit of an existential mess. the twist here is that females are not "allowed" by some unseen group of male vampires to exist and are hunted down. again, this film has moments of startling beauty and is led by two great female leads.

kiss of the damned is another film we were able to catch pre-holiday season and though it felt a bit more shallow than the others, the costuming & strange beauty of the actors was worth the somewhat lacking narrative.

i am a real sucker for southern tales. i have these oddly romantic notions of the south, back woods living and spanish moss make my blood quicken when used as a literary or cinematic device. for me, a southern location is almost a character unto itself. jug face is an odd tale that explores the mythology of a small group of people who are governed by a supernatural, murderous 'pit' that exudes a potent power over the inhabitants. the narrative of this film felt stronger to me than the others and I almost wished it was a novel rather than a film.

what have you been watching lately ?


Friday, January 24, 2014

the precipice.

The Garden

Greenhouse


Guest House

The Grove

the last time i wrote about artist aron wiesenfeld was for an essay published in HF from back in 2011 (my goodness it really didn't seem that long ago.) i remember this being one of the more thrilling assignments, not only was i already a fan, but aron was incredibly kind, alarmingly humble and had a lot of thoughtful responses about his work during our interview. in the essay i related aron's work to joseph campbell's archetype of the hero's journey, in which a central figure, often from myth (& often male) sets out on a quest to retrieve/rescue a special object or person (think lord of the rings plot lines for a more modern use.) usually once the 'hero' crosses the threshold of his landscape/ home and into the realm of the journey, he has transcended a kind of supernatural boundary. upon the success of his quest, he returns home, (in some cases) but will never be the same. he will carry the mark of this transformation forever, sometimes emotionally, sometimes physically, often both.

 i often feel that most of aron's work pin points the pulse of the moment when the 'hero' is making that first wary step into the 'supernatural' wild unknown. his figures read as adolescents to me, which also speaks of another transformative, inescapable occurrence. the above recent paintings certainly have a slightly different feeling than the ones i focused on in 2011, but retain that narrative tension of choice and the power of choosing; the cross- roads and veils that motivate and inform us.

the works always strike a strong cord with me no matter what my current emotional state may be, as their subtle melancholy feels like a darkly lit, yet tender homecoming.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

another world.




i've been a long time fan of tim walker. his high fashion editorials often read like myth and fairy tale & i always appreciate the physicality of his choices, the giant props, the intense make up. there is also often a strangeness in his work, an unexpected mediation on the beauty outside of "beauty."

 these videos give a new insight into his work; i wish there were more. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the skin of the surface.

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

i briefly wrote a bit about artist agostino arrivabene last year here, likening the transformative elements within the flesh of his subjects to current feelings. this still feels true. 

i recently had the chance to see one of his new works in person (more on this soon). despite the evident searing beauty that is apparent from online viewing, beholding one of his paintings in person is an entirely different experience. in the past i had found myself attracted to paintings that had smooth surfaces & highly controlled paint application. here though, the surface of the paintings feels like a living thing. it is a chaos, it is a skin, its texture reveals an emotive snare that reels me all the way in. for me, this works in tandem to the incredible subject matter, lone figures set in darkness, their bodies housing delicate and spidery flora. there always seems to be a kind of seamless melancholy to his work, as if the viewer was catching these beings at the precise moment they decided to no longer be netted . . . instead, a kind of metamorphic, beautiful, wildness blooms from them, reaching up, reaching out . . .