Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Witching Hour

All that we can say is that we are sincerely glad that this series of weirdo holidays and celebrations finally is over. Here in America no matter how far one buries oneself under a rock you can still hear people trampling around the malls singing xmas carols or turn around and catch some elf trying to stick a candy cane in your…ear…damn. It is definitely time again for everyone (and we mean EVERYONE) to start playing with knives, running with scissors and conjuring the spirits of the netherworld (or perhaps the Netherlands if you prefer a more “safe and sane” activity…)

Now we have received some requests to show more of our sculptures and artwork, so in the future be careful of what you ask for, dear readers…People often inquire how we amass such a collection of oddities that we use to create our sculptures. It takes a fair amount of scrounging around thrift stores and consignment shops, tripping over yuppies and interlopers that should be at Macy’s and wasting the better part of many an afternoon. One does reap their rewards and patience wins out in the form of an armload of indescribable nonsense…

Often we get peculiar looks at the things we buy. Dolls with pouty bisque faces and fluffy Scarlet O’Hara dresses make lovely voodoo dolls. Upon arriving home one must immediately strip off their ugly flocks and bind them from head to toe with black cloth. We refrain from burying them in the backyard for a season simply because a backyard is yet another luxury (burden…) that we do not have…

Salespeople will often ask us what we do with the things we purchase. We usually just smile, laugh and mumble some lame excuse. We think that one particular clerk might be on to us. We have code named her “The Dirty Librarian” because of her prim and proper appearance and the fact that she wears a PENTAGRAM ENCRUSTED DOG COLLAR hidden under her blouse. And to anyone who thinks a pentagram paired with nerdy glasses is fashion faux pas, you are just plain wrong…

Other objects can be born again (HA!) into new uses. Stands, easels and topiary forms can be converted (…ok, we will stop…) into a skeletal framework for a new creation. The discarded pair of sparkly earrings that some tramp wore to prom can be become a demon’s eye or a witches corset. Odd boxes turn to caskets then placed in our hand and picture frames, once innocent, can be transformed into portals to darkness and far beyond…

This series of sculptures featured in this post are a few of our recently conjured pieces. They are very intricate and layered beyond belief in both their creation as well as their meaning. Witch Plague Breath is perhaps described best as a ward against those with little or no tolerance for another’s chosen path. In this object one might see a guardian of witches that bears their torment thought the ages…Born upon a bed of bone, to burn upon a pyre of death. Undying vengeful wraith, seeking blood from unholy faith…

We have always been intrigued with reliquaries and crypts. Their existence within the church confounds the imagination and certainly blurs the line in regards to desecrating the dead… (as always it seems to depend on which side you are on.) Displaying bits and pieces of powerful objects and remains became our inspiration for a series of dark reliquary boxes. Corpse Moth Curse returns to one of our favorite subjects (we will leave that up to you to interpret…) A winged relic of the Dark Lord. Earth fallen fragment preserved for all time. Gilded entombment rising in triumphant death…

We have intermingled some pictures of the stunning Sedlec Ossuary among images of our artwork. Our plan is to evaporate into a poof of dust when our time comes, if not feel free to use our bones to make a lovely chandelier…and take a moment to watch this beautiful and haunting short film by Czech filmmaker, Jan Svankmayer.


Witch Plague Breath
18” h x 7” w x 6”
© Seraph + Splendor 2009

Corpse Moth Curse
10” h x 9” w x 5” d
© Seraph + Splendor 2009

Alone in my sinister crypt, I evoke the ancients,
I raise my chalice of pure blood sacrificed angels,
towards the moon, and I cry my reading,
my sorcellery breeding the infernal awakening.
The winds is changed on fire, in a cyclone,
the prophets coming from nowhere,
show the eternity paths,
the no return ways,
lost in the depth of gloomy forests from the North.

(“Scared By Darkwinds” by Enthroned)


Holly said...

I was looking at that bone church earlier today too! I wish I could have visited it when I lived over in Europe. I love it...beautiful post, as always.


Dirgesinger said...

I have been to Sedlec and the Ossuary is beyond wonderful. Have You visited it?

Seraph + Splendor said...

We unfortunately have never been there (unless in our dreams...) It is definitely a place we will make our way to someday...

carla fox said...

Oh, my...I can see we would be in competition at "the bins" if we lived in the same neighborhood! Thank you for sharing your art pieces. They are beautiful. And I loved the film; very strange and memserizing as well. I especially liked the snail in the empty eye socket!

Seraph + Splendor said...

...the more the merrier! Is it getting harder and harder to find cool stuff in your area? Everything here in Seattle is getting completely picked through...glad we have build up a bit of a stash materials to use.

Thanks for all of your support & kind words!

carla fox said...

Actually, the stuff I go for is usually passed over by others. I, too, have quite a stash I've built up over the years. An "embarassement of riches", so to speak.

Fairwood Haven said...

Wow-! I'm Speechless-!

Your Beautiful Work has such Depth and Magical Layers - that at fist view - I find it difficult to decipher - (But you probably meant it to be that way-!)I can just imagine the hours you two put into these Creations-!)

To me - They have the Aura of a Raven's or Witch's Nest - Created over time with twigs - small treasures - and Mysterious Thoughts & Feelings like a Secret Language.

They would be interesting to study over a period of Time - to see what they might slowly reveal-!

Tell us more about the Czech film of the Bone Castle - it was so Dream-like - and Compelling. How did it ever come to be-??

Jill said...

Dirty Librarian...sounds like a great cocktail!

Festive New Year to you!

Seraph + Splendor said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! Here is a little background on the Sedlec Ossuary from their website. Perhaps we have a morbid fascination with death but we find the place quite wicked and sublime...

"The history of the Church of Bones is quite unusual as you may have expected. It all started when Henry, the Cistercian abbot was sent to the Holy Land. He brought back a jar of earth from Jerusalem, from the Golgotha. When he arrived back, he put the earth over the cemetery. The rumor about his act soon spread out all over the place, and thus Sedlec became a desired place to be buried. Some people even brought their dead relatives to be buried in the Holy Soil of Sedlec.

Soon, in Europe the plague caused the death of many people, and many people went to Sedlec before their death. In a little amount of time a lot of people were buried in Sedlec, and thus came the idea of creating an ossuary. The task of creating the ossuary was given to a half blind monk who arranged the bones. But only more than 300 years later, the bones were arranged artistically as they are today.

In 1870, a local woodcarver, Frantisek Rindt was given the task to decorate the chapel with the bones. And the amazing result speaks for itself. 40.000 human bodies are now arranged and the place is now popularly known as the Church of Bones."


Your sculptures are wondrous and utterly beautiful. I, too, have a hideous fascination (bordering on obsession) with reliquaries, I've got way too many images saved.

Also, the dirty librarian?! Amazing.

Seraph + Splendor said...

Thank you!!! We very much appreciate your comments.

As for the dirty librarian, we saw her the other day wearing a fluffy purple turtleneck sweater...hmmm, but who knows what she was wearing under it...damn.

SilkandBone said...

Your sculptures are wonderful! Your blog is always a delight to read- as well as being really quite sensible. (and puts a smile on my face!)

Seraph + Splendor said...

Thanks so is not every day that we are referred to as sensible!

Anonymous said...

Compass eternally points West. Through the trees and across the fog drenched sound, there I will find a boat with Ivory stock and vertebra bow.

"Gold piece?"
"Do you Know me?"

"Yehissss, I have been waiting for you too, and the many more that follow."

I just stared, almost blinded by the glow of bleach bone through the thick mist his eyes of just hole. Voids of mind to suck my lost soul.

" Now get on the boat boy and give me your gold. Wipe your damn feet! You living are so inconsiderate of everything around you! Lets go, Souls are waiting.
Let me guess, you think this is all for you? HaH! Life is for you, Death is for Hades and this is my job. Now shut up and sit down, I don't need you falling overboard. I don't have any muscles to pick you out of the water! "

As we moved away from shore, cold air seemed to pick up the ores. My Ivory captain drank from a flask, souls of mystery and tiny whimpers with each sipping pass. They spilled onto the deck and puddled on the floor then soaked into the feisty, rich velvet, cape that he wore.
Did we land the boat on the opposite dock? I won't know until my heart shaped watch stops.

But I can tell you this, I will miss the fleeting nights of my lovers lush kiss, drinking water when I am parched to the bone and hearing my tiny cat's breath with each purry moan.

Anonymous said...

Your Site is AWESOME!!!

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