I have been reverting back to my roots lately and picking up the pencils again.
I did a lot of life drawing and portrait work during my fashion degree and after buying a pack of blendable pencils on a whim at the start of the year, I have found the love again for my drawing.
My current project was inspired by my walks onto Dartmoor and all the folklore associated with this area.
I recently visited Crazy well Pool, a wild swimming spot thought to have been frequented by witches a few hundred years ago.
My train of thought went on to imagine what these women must have done to be suspected of witchcraft. I imagine them to just be ladies who did not follow the conventions of the time, possibly practiced healing through the fauna and flora in the area or followed the ancient ways of the Druids and Celts.
They may have followed the seasonal change and Luna cycles and would have had a more wild way of life, linked to the earth and the sky, than the current norms.
Their botanical knowledge could possibly have been far superior to some of the gentlemen of the time, and I’m sure their study of the therapeutic use of plants would put them into the realms of a Herbologist.
They may have also studied the insects (Entomology) or the local trees (Dendrology) and used their knowledge to feed themselves and become healers. I think these ladies would be more akin to zoologists rather than just being labeled a witch!
I decided to start a modern-day witch project, with a possible book at the end, and draw some modern women who would represent these misunderstood ladies who in today’s times may well have been scientists, zoologists, and doctors, hence the suits and modern appearance.
Its very easy to go down a route of dark art, scruffy bedraggled wild women and atmospheric moorland scenes when you talk of witches, but I didn’t want to show these women in that light.
My work hopes to celebrate the notable and influential women who, through their activism in their chosen field, made contributions to history and society and hope to highlight that females can do many things other than being the housewife or caregiver and that a road traveled in science can be a fruitful one.