Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Paint it Black

As believers in the concepts of reincarnation and the collective unconscious Symbolist Art has always been a great inspiration. Paintings full of half remembered vistas, landscapes seeped in mystery and beings fantastic and otherworldly bring to mind the powerful memories buried within our subconscious minds.

(Sin 1893)

(Inferno 1908)
Franz von Stuck (1863 – 1928) has always been a particular favorite. Perhaps it is the dark sensuality portrayed in is work that attracts us. Or maybe it is the forbidding glow of infernal hellfire that accompanies many of his painting that stirs our souls. In either case a true sublime decadence is represented.

Villa Stuck (the artist’s home in Munich) is both a shrine and an altar to his luscious and depraved visions. The villa’s interior is rendered in an intoxicating mix of blues, greens, reds and golds…

The Music Room, complete with a stunning blue and gold astrological ceiling mural.

A glittering Reception Room encrusted with marble, mirrors and mosaics. In the foreground a lovely chaise designed by the artist.

(The Wild Chase 1889)
Forth after dark…a time I do know
In my kingdom…I enter to my own world
Open the gate…of a mountain of dark
Rising with the shadow…a dark world made for me

(“In My Kingdom Cold” by Immortal)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Mad Tea Party

There are many strange and wonderful things around our home. Clocks that do not tell time, sofas full of plants and mirrors without reflections. To say we have an eccentric design style would be an understatement. Case in point, we recently noticed that we do not have a proper dining room table. In fact, it seems that we have no dining room whatsoever. We are not sure where we misplaced it or if we ever even had one to begin with.

Now a room is an easier thing to find than a truly fabulous table setting. This got us to thinking. If we were ever to need to throw a grand fairy fete or pagan banquet – where would we borrow the table wear? After a moment or two of debate The Green Vault was decide upon. The Green Vault, the treasure house of the electors of Saxony, was established in the 1700’s. It is a depository of the most sublime objects every created.

Such wonders as jewel encrusted silver wear with spindly coral handles that only the most graceful among us could hold. Platters of gold and enamel with dizzying depictions of royalty. Drinking vessels and goblets of every conceivable form, from ostriches to elephants and every imaginable beast in between. How one is supposed to drink from a nymph riding a dragon, we will never know.
With such finery a baroque and whimsical party would be sure to ensue. Legend tells us to treat an invitation to a fairy feast with much caution. Consuming food or drink could lead to permanent enchantment. Would you accept the invitation? We know we would…

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said:"
Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head

(“White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Book Worship Volume II

Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present Day by Mila Contini

To say this book has been well loved would be an understatement. It is in fact rather tattered (one might even say disheveled in less polite company). It has been in Splendor’s life since she was a cherub and is one of a handful (armful?) of books like encouraged her love of fabrics and design.

This book spans the history of fashionable clothing from ancient times to the “modern” high fashion of the 1960’s. The most fascinating eras are of course the sixteenth and seventeen centuries. These chapters are a great inspiration as they are full of rather sinister looking royalty and aristocrats. Evil hats, wicked parasols and gloves that only an alien’s hands would fit are a delight to anyone with a closet full of questionably tasteful clothing.

Other highlights include the always beautiful Napoleonic period and of course the Victorians with their crinolines, corsets and high buttoned boots. This is a lovely vintage book that would be a great addition to one’s library.

Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present Day by Mila Contini
©The Odyssey Press 1965
In the distance I saw a woman
Dressed in black with eyes of grey
She wore her pain like a shackled spirit
Eternal life was her debt to pay

(“The Lady Wore Black” by Queensryche)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Cabinet of Curiosities

This Shrine Cabinet is a decrepit and haunted library of sorts. A depository for many of the antique books passed down through our families. Jack London and John Ruskin wander the corridors, passing by Lord Tennyson and Robert Burns on their collective travels.

Seraph’s past has contributed many of the poetry and religious philosophy books, while Splendor’s much of the literature titles. Our most cherished volumes would include an 1889 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and a tattered first edition of Star Rover. Another favorite would be a mint condition Victorian era Palmistry book (no, dear readers, I cannot look up the exact date for moving this vignette would break 943 unique spells and incantations…)

Placed as though emerging from the books themselves, is a collection of mystical objects. Victorian toys play among rusty keys and antique bells. A miniature gilded clock holds court with a collection of papier mache boxes and silver encrusted perfume bottles. Religious icons and statues uphold their silent vigils knee deep in bits of shell, sticks and fossils.

A shrine by its very nature grows one offering at a time. This shine is perhaps best dedicated to the joy of collecting itself. We feel a true sentience and spirit in many (so called) inanimate objects. Finding objects and giving them a new life is a task that we relish. We would ask you, friends, to open a box of heirlooms and visit a local thrift store. You might find something that touches your heart. Let us know what you find...

Ghosts of forever ride the pale twilight
Teller of the tale lives beneath the ice
Shadow of the haunter creeps within our sight
As we lay sleeping …horror

(“The Face of Oblivion” by High on Fire)

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