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Friday, 20 September 2013

Cuckold's Art

I'm on the cusp of recording the audio book version of Cuckold's Fair, a storytelling play that I wrote in late 2009 and I'm looking for some helpers to be in the artwork as the original design work isn't really doing it for me anymore.  Basically I forced one of the cast to put a flower in their mouth and I took a rubbish picture which I then added a rubbish effect over and sort of got away with it.  So I want to create something new for the audio book and a re-issue of the book cover.
It's based, though not literally, on a nightmare sequence in the play that reads something like this...

They saw... a wall... and there were the Foliate figures
Building the wall, stone by stone.

            “It’s an ancient art, dry stone walling,
You need to examine the gap and then look and
Choose a piece that will fit the space perfectly.”

The dreamers watched these human shaped plants
Picking up the stones, examining them, but they
Didn’t seem to place them with any real care,
Just plonked them in, pushing other stones
Aside if they didn’t fit properly.

 “Man likes barriers.  This need to build
Barriers, boundaries, it’s something we don’t understand. 
Don’t respect.  We have no need for these things. 
These walls, these...”

And a Foliate Woman threw one of the stones
Across to the dreamers.  But it wasn’t a stone anymore.
It was a skull.
The dreamers silently screamed, a hoarse silent cry
Of dream-sick despair as the Foliate figures built
A wall, stone by stone.  Skull by skull.  Face by face.
Laughing, passing the skulls of mankind, the Foliates were many
With endless others building a great wall infinitely long.

 “It goes round the globe.  It’s our greatest work.”

And from the empty eyes, the millions of skull-sockets,
The shoots sprouted and crept and bushelled and expanded.
The dry skull wall burst into terrible life,
From dry skull to coppice in seconds.

 “This is our world and we want it back.”

And the dreamers felt the Foliate figures tear their heads off,
Felt their heads being added to the wall.  And the foliage forced
Its way out of their throats, eyes, ears and noses

And at last, when all breath was impossible, they woke up.

A cheerful image, as you can tell.  And for the artwork I want to create something similar, but different.  I'm fond of the covers for Asimov books which often bore no relation to the content literally, but captured something of the grandeur of vision.  
So, I want to create the image of a wall of, if not skulls, then heads, wreathed in foliage.  
And for that I require heads.  
Your heads, if you're willing.  
I'm going to organise a photo shoot for the image and if you're free and can make it to the bar of the Quay Theatre from 12.30pm till 2.30pm on Saturday 28th September I'd like to take a picture of your head.  
Just your head.  
It'll be fun.
You'll get to sit in a comfy chair, be lit interestingly and I'll take a selection of pictures.  It'll take a few minutes and then you'll be free to enjoy the benefits of the nearby bar or just the joy of freedom.
And, with some luck, you'll be one of the heads in a wall made by the foliate spirits.
I will use the image to create, not just an LP cover, but also a final work of art which hopefully will be displayed and available for those who helped make it happen - and I can send you copies of the originals if you want.

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