Each Animus exhibition or event will
likely embody a shifting selection of artists.
Though expressions range from the playful
to the profound and scales encompass the
vast to the humble, all in their unique way
are a re-consecration of art for the
purpose of the re-enchantment of the world
Because of this, the artwork is imbued
with this essence, and has the potential
to reconnect you to what is whole (holy), both
in visible outer form and invisible inner truth…
ultimately dissolving the illusory sense of
separation between the two.
In the words of Hafiz,
The small man
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
May you find a key here
to the gateless gate.
Alexander, a Russian artist now living in New Jersey, uses traditional
sculptural forms harmoniously interposed with modern elements, creating
an unexpected union of materials such as bronze and glass.
He often depicts people absorbed in a deeply
meditative, contemplative state, with the intent of
embodying that essence in the sculptural form.
Working intuitively with no pre-conceived plans, he
embraces the unexpected developments this brings
as the sculpture begins to take on a life of its own.
For him, this creative process is a
part of his quest for self- knowledge.
Alexander's Facebook page is here
Ben lives on the site of a Roman fort at the Western end
of Hadrians Wall. It’s a beautiful, wild and windy place between
the Solway Estuary and thousands of acres of peat moss filled with
wildlife; barnacle geese, roe deer, curlews and adders.
Here Ben senses the timeless open quality of just being ~
a quality which also relates to the pots he makes. The evolving
dialogue between clay, slip and himself is at the same time
a poetic reinterpretation of many of the qualities
found in traditional pot making.
Although he has respect for and draws
inspiration from the English slipware tradition,
his slipware is decorated as a spontaneous
expression of playful joy.
Ben Fosker’s website is here
Though Bill’s recent pieces have been intimately sized ~
mantras carved on obsidian stones, gold-leafed mono-
prints taken from the inside of bark ~ he’s also worked
on such a monumental scale that there are still firm
believers that his 1990 Oregon Lake Bed Sri Yantra,
(above, photographed from 9000 feet),
was the work of extra-terrestrials.
It had not been constructed by him as a hoax to
try to trick people, though, but as a holy offering.
This offering was clearly graciously received
by the earth, as attested to by subsequent
profound changes, both subtle and dramatic.
This and other earthworks “…functioned as a device
or space where we would not only experience Nature more
deeply but also where Nature would speak out, where we
might come to better understand the language of Nature.”
Bill’s website is here
Cathy Van Hoppe
(The Old Burrow)
Though Cathy also writes idiosyncratic tales
to accompany her work, her intricate and muted
paintings often don’t belong to a particular tale,
but become a portal for the viewer, transporting
them into an enchanted world.
She’s always been fascinated by what
she calls the 'realm of story' and believes that
“art belongs to that realm. It feels to me as though
it is a method of transportation by entrancement and
each journey we take has the capacity to enrich us.”
Cathy’s website is here
Fergus’s idiosyncratic, naïve style paintings became
indelibly imprinted on the collective unconscious back in
the 1970’s, when he created a tarot deck for ‘Live and
Let Die’ which, many editions later, is still in print.
Album covers for ‘King Crimson’, an award-winning
children’s book and numerous one-man shows in
London’s Portal Gallery followed, after which Fergus
became disillusioned with the commercial art world
and retreated back to his native Scotland.
Following decades of seclusion in the Eskdalemuir
hills, Fergus is painting in a looser way and re-
discovering his soul’s path through his art, deeply
grounded as it is in the spiritual dimension of life.
Fergus’s website is here
Fitch & McAndrew
Douglas Fitch and Hannah McAndrew are renowned
slipware potters who also happen to be husband and wife.
Working in wood-fired earthenware clay, their works are simply
decorated, with appliqué decoration or sgrafitto, using a basic
palette of traditional slips, made from natural raw materials.
Above are a trio of large jugs by Doug, their influence drawn
from the work of the medieval potters of England and the
subsequent tradition of slip decorated country pottery that
was prevalent in this country until the early twentieth century.
Doug's website is here
Below is one of Hannah's pieces; her website is
here. you can also find them both together here
Jennie’s ‘leafworks’, originally inspired by Amish
patchwork quilts, are made entirely from nature itself.
Leaves and flowers are collected from both wild lands
and gardens around her Scottish home, then melded together
to create a subtle yet vibrant synthesis of colours, patterns
and textures intimately rooted in the land.
Jennie’s website is here
Julie is a poet. For her, ‘the concept of “The World’s Soul”
is the way energy inhabits the land, becoming apparent
in its creation of an environment and its movement
within it. This movement includes a shaping of
everything within a specific place and time.
As living entities, we must look to the
symbiotic relationship we make with our own
environment in order to understand the place
we occupy within the world’s soul.
In doing so, we have the potential to
find a deepening awareness of the whole.’
Kay makes unique wearable art in the form of hats.
Her closeness to nature in her rural Dumfries & Galloway
studio by the river Bladnoch, especially the continuously
changing colours, deeply influences her work.
Colour is very important in each new
piece, along with texture, flexibility of fibre,
function, wearability and overall design.
Kay's website is here
Morag Brown & Lewis Powell Reid
Morag and Lewis play a rich repertoire of music from
a wide variety of folk traditions. On fiddle and cittern
or accordion, they are at home performing traditional
Scottish, English and Irish music, as well as music
from across Europe, the Balkans and Greece.
They take inspiration from traditional archive sources,
from the musicians they meet and the places to which
they travel. When playing together, their shared intuition
and love of spontaneity allows them to freely move
between melody, harmony and improvisation.
You can hear them on Soundcloud.
Martin is an award-winning slate artist and crafter
working in the Scottish Borders and Cornwall.
He also works in natural stone, wood and metal.
His pieces are influenced by his life-long fascination
for Pictish and ancient rock art as well as nature,
folklore, magick, science and spirituality.
Martin is the only person in the UK
who carves and sells sacred Tibetan
Buddhist mantra and symbol stones.
Martin’s website is here
Peter was a Dry Stone Dyker for fifteen years,
during which time he became intimately in touch
with the needs of the medium, and felt naturally
drawn into hand-carving.
His influences are from nature, with spiritual
inspiration coming from both ancient Celtic
art and Eastern philosophy
Peter sees his rôle as releasing inherent forms,
following the impulses of ‘a suggestion inside
of the stone which dictates its own form’.
His stone work, including large-scale
commissions, can be seen all over Scotland.
Peter’s bio page is here
Phil Crennell is a highly skilled Artisan whose work
reveals the invisible spirit of nature. He’s sought after
in the field of Live Edge Furniture, which he makes to
provide enjoyment, enchantment and soulful well being
All of his rustic, natural forms are made from hardwoods
sourced in Scotland; Oak, Elm, Yew, Sycamore and Ash,
and occasionally Apple, Cherry, Laburnum and Beech.
Phil finds these woods to be a reflection of his ethos
and way of life. By its very nature each piece of wood ~
with its waney edge, rippled grain, knots, burrs and
spalting stunningly and permanently etched
into its surface ~ is unique in its form.
From a Greenwood workshop tucked into
the coniferous skirts of Auchenlosh Woodland
in Dumfries and Galloway, Phil ~ along with all
sorts of invited ethereal inhabitants ~ becomes
happily lost in the creative process within
the tranquillity of his surroundings.
Phil’s website is here.
Sam delights in playing with the weathered shapes and textures
of old worn wood and revealing the rich secret beauty of grain
and colour hidden within its unassuming exterior.
Sam’s intent is to ‘take a little time, be still, let the
spiritus mundi, Animus, into the crowded mind. Art speaks softly,
clearly, soul to soul whilst we are absent one from another.’
Sam’s website is here
Sarah originally studied geology and geography,
and this insight into the forms of the land and sea
she depicts shapes her response to it.
This is far from a detached, scientific one,
however, with many works imbued
with a magical, dream-like presence.
As Sarah says, she aims to make her work speak
of her human condition and concerns, and is happy when,
in doing so, it speaks directly to other people of theirs.
Sarah’s website is here
Curator of Animus, I’m an interdisciplinary artist living
between a stone circle and a waterfall in the Eskdalemuir hills.
My main medium is light, which I use to look though
veils of matter, revealing the luminous spirit within.
I approach my work as an offering
of gratitude to the world soul.
You’re on my website :)
Trevor is a renowned sculptor in willow,
which he often weaves into colossal
forms whose moment of glory comes
when they are spectacularly set alight.
He shares a love of the curves and symmetry
both of the natural world and of human form, which
he explores using the sinuous grace of the willow whips.
Trevor’s website is here