Opening at 12:00 noon on Saturday, October 27th at DiXmiX Gallery is a special exhibition of art by Purple Leonis ONeill (Nel4481). Entitled Witch, it celebrates the mystery and mysticism of Halloween as a time of witchcraft and dark magic by recalling the story of a woman whose fate is very much tied to black magic and dark arts.
My name is Madeleine and I’m a witch …. well …. I was … here is my story.
Thus we are introduced to the protagonist of the story, a woman who went against her times to seek out the forbidden, to communicate with the dead, and to join with other women of like mind to found a coven.
Though brief, the story colours her life sufficiently for us to track it from that first evening of temptation through until her death at the hands of local villagers. It is a story reflected in the images arranged into the lower and upper floors of the gallery’s Grey Hall, itself decorated to presented a suitably haunting look.
The images are striking both in their richness of character, and in the manner in which they both illustrate and add subtext to Madeleine’s tale. Some show her awakening through subtle means: a seemingly gentle evening game with a cat (felines – albeit generally black ones – being the usual familiar for witches) or the innocent-looking brush of fingers over a Bible. Others are more direct: caught in a Ouija board induced trace, naked dancing around a night-time fire in the depths of a forest and – ultimately, trapped at the stake as the flames rise.
One night, everything has changed. Village men came to capture me. That night sounded my end….
Beaten, maltreated, tied up by the villagers, I was tied to the pyre of those condemned for witchcraft.
With – again appropriately – 13 images in total, the exhibition sits as both a display of art and – in a sense – a graphic novel telling Maeleine’s tale. My one small quibble with the story is the date on the tale: 1890, a time long after he period when women would be burned for the perception of their witchcraft.
Music for the opening will be provided by Miss Dee Hannaha, and given the nature of the event – although it is not openly stated – suitable dress may will be appreciated.
- DiXmiX Gallery (Bay Port, rated: Moderate)