Tuesday, April 1, 2014

strange love & spring.

katerina plotnikova

katerina plotnikova

katerina plotnikova

katerina plotnikova

paul sent me over these images from russian artist katerina plotnikova & they immediately conjure the aura of ancient fairy tales; the beauty who falls for the bear, the maiden who speaks in the tongues of animals, deep in the woods where, if nothing else, the mystery of life pulses, the locus of all dreams, both dark and light. there is a certain romance here, edged with the darkness of the savagery these animals possess, the brilliant oddness of the unlikely pairings. 


the spring weather is looming & with the subtle breaks in the east coast coldness, change is inevitable. i think of loss & i think of love & also, as well, how quickly time has passed since i last ruptured my life in early 2012. it is hard these days to tell exactly where home is, but in some ways, the idea of the forest and her teeming wildness, will always be one of mine, in mind. 

ps (live animals, no taxidermy !)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

on solitude.

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

always the deep of winter makes me go into a kind of inner retreat. nothing feels firm or fixed or even real, though the promise of spring becomes a lure that flashes brilliantly in the endless sea of winter. artist andy goldsworthy's work speaks of this isolation; there is a poignant & disquieting solitude in his structures. paul introduced me to him last year (winter?) via his film 'rivers and tides' and i was absolutely snared watching the artist carefully form and stack and bend and arrange ice and sticks and leaves and rocks; all which bloomed beneath his patience and focus. this kind of impermanent making reminds me of the temporary nature of both winter and the murky feelings that i often couple with during its long tenure.

"I go into solitude so as not to drink out of everybody's cistern. When I am among the many I live as the many do, and I do not think I really think. After a time it always seems as if they want to banish my self from myself and rob me of my soul." - Nietzsche

(winter please be over.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

february cabinet.

an iceberg near head of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, taken sometime between 1900-1920
(taken sometime between 1900-1920)


*lately* (or at least, last month)

reading:

* much like the last time i shared a cabinet of my currents, i unfortunately don't have time for reading. this sad truth is wholly in my control & so i have been trying to be more mindful (as reading truly is my first love) & take small bites from books of short stories. i just got in a hefty box from cake train  and have been nibbling on their 11th issue. it is filled with clipped dark gems, precisely the kind of writing that most attracts me. 

*i've also been slowly devouring lou beach's book '420.' it is a jewel box of tiny writings, all about 420 characters long, based on the amount of characters facebook allows for status updates. some are strange, others carry quite a profound weight for their miniature statures. i found him via my lovely customer service gal friday kim / wildthorne. 

* loved this post on the living apex blog on reasons to read more ( i agree with his theory of how we veg out on visual media) and its subsequent follow up with tips on how to read more ( i agree with his theory on keeping books in proximity, my/our homes are littered with books everywhere. i even sleep with them when i am in my loft. perfect bedfellows to fill the empty space.)


viewing/listening:

* we recently watched the gorgeous yet almost story-less 'only lovers left alive,'  a few of you mentioned on IG about this one when i posted on my previous film entry & rightly so. it featured a kind of trifecta of attraction for me; strange surrealist lady bird tilda swinton has never looked better in a role (seriously, when she is "packing" for her trip and fondles each book before she tucks it in her suitcase, i was breathless with pure visual pleasure and had an immediate, deep relation to her character), mia wasikowska has a small (albeit bratty role, you almost clap when she exits,)  & its a guiltypleasurevampirefilm that's somehow not nearly as cliche or predictable as one would expect from a supernatural romance. mostly what caught me was the morose melancholy meditations on life and the act of living, as well as the brilliant soundtrack, which was laden with jim jarmusch's band, sqürl, and has haunted me these past few weeks since. detroit also never looked so magical.

* les revenants is a french program that features the 'returned' dead, just as they were when they were alive ( an equally unsettling and complicatedly delightful notion.) they are neither zombies or ghosts (or at least at the point i'm at in the season anyway.) it is slow paced and creepy and has a beautifully haunting soundtrack as well by mogwai. i haven't finished watching it so won't say more, for now . . .

cocoon life:

* dreaming of building new/olde bookshelves and other moods for melancholy/new rooms over on my pinterest. 


fixed:

*i've written on here before about my strange attraction to icebergs/ glaciers. lately i've slowly been writing again and these primordial giants are seeping into my thoughts . . .

bloodmilk news:

* this is a bit belated but so many thanks for all the support and patience over the past holiday season. i am slowly working on streamlining things and building a tiny team as i navigate my growing pains while remaining as independent and community based as possible. <3 p="">
* i just listed high polish finish versions of a few of my most popular rings in the shop. 

* as i mentioned recently on IG, i am working on creating wedding bands for both of the 'belonging' rings as well as a third sister version. i hope to have more news on these soon, but for now, they are being designed to specifically 'lock' around each ring but will also look equally as nice work alone. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

the deep of winter, blood films.

Stoker

stoker.

Byzantium

byzantium

Kiss of The Damned

kiss of the damned

Jug Face

jug face 

often times in the ice laden and melancholic depths of winter, i find comfort in crawling into my cocoon bed and escaping any way possible after work, via books or film. i love stories, whether printed or visual. the above 4  films are some of my current favorites. two of them are (guilty pleasure, though in terms of monsters, zombies will always win my heart) vampire films, but all seem to share that tumultuous dance on the fault line of right and wrong from the female pov, a kind of acceptance of fate and a coming of age. all four films share a focus on cinematic beauty juxtaposed with elements of the strange; a calculated eye is always employed, whether in the way a scene is composed, the way blood flows or how the female leads are fashioned.

stoker is one of those movies i find myself replaying at night before i go to sleep ( i have also done this with brothers quay and fight club) there is something about a quiet, darkly told tale that feels like a lullaby to me. this film is so beautifully shot, the carefully staged scenes and moments almost eclipse the tale at the heart of the film. it is well written and subtly poisonous, but this almost doesn't seem to matter. mia wasikowska has quickly become a favorite actress, and here, for me, she is like stepping into the sea. dangerous & quietly smooth.

we watched byzantium before the holidays and there were scenes that really snared me, specifically the moment when one is 'turned.' i don't want to give too much away but at the heart of this film, as in many vamp movies, the grappling with morality and guilt makes a bit of an existential mess. the twist here is that females are not "allowed" by some unseen group of male vampires to exist and are hunted down. again, this film has moments of startling beauty and is led by two great female leads.

kiss of the damned is another film we were able to catch pre-holiday season and though it felt a bit more shallow than the others, the costuming & strange beauty of the actors was worth the somewhat lacking narrative.

i am a real sucker for southern tales. i have these oddly romantic notions of the south, back woods living and spanish moss make my blood quicken when used as a literary or cinematic device. for me, a southern location is almost a character unto itself. jug face is an odd tale that explores the mythology of a small group of people who are governed by a supernatural, murderous 'pit' that exudes a potent power over the inhabitants. the narrative of this film felt stronger to me than the others and I almost wished it was a novel rather than a film.

what have you been watching lately ?


Friday, January 24, 2014

the precipice.

The Garden

Greenhouse


Guest House

The Grove

the last time i wrote about artist aron wiesenfeld was for an essay published in HF from back in 2011 (my goodness it really didn't seem that long ago.) i remember this being one of the more thrilling assignments, not only was i already a fan, but aron was incredibly kind, alarmingly humble and had a lot of thoughtful responses about his work during our interview. in the essay i related aron's work to joseph campbell's archetype of the hero's journey, in which a central figure, often from myth (& often male) sets out on a quest to retrieve/rescue a special object or person (think lord of the rings plot lines for a more modern use.) usually once the 'hero' crosses the threshold of his landscape/ home and into the realm of the journey, he has transcended a kind of supernatural boundary. upon the success of his quest, he returns home, (in some cases) but will never be the same. he will carry the mark of this transformation forever, sometimes emotionally, sometimes physically, often both.

 i often feel that most of aron's work pin points the pulse of the moment when the 'hero' is making that first wary step into the 'supernatural' wild unknown. his figures read as adolescents to me, which also speaks of another transformative, inescapable occurrence. the above recent paintings certainly have a slightly different feeling than the ones i focused on in 2011, but retain that narrative tension of choice and the power of choosing; the cross- roads and veils that motivate and inform us.

the works always strike a strong cord with me no matter what my current emotional state may be, as their subtle melancholy feels like a darkly lit, yet tender homecoming.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

another world.




i've been a long time fan of tim walker. his high fashion editorials often read like myth and fairy tale & i always appreciate the physicality of his choices, the giant props, the intense make up. there is also often a strangeness in his work, an unexpected mediation on the beauty outside of "beauty."

 these videos give a new insight into his work; i wish there were more. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the skin of the surface.

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

agostino arrivabene

i briefly wrote a bit about artist agostino arrivabene last year here, likening the transformative elements within the flesh of his subjects to current feelings. this still feels true. 

i recently had the chance to see one of his new works in person (more on this soon). despite the evident searing beauty that is apparent from online viewing, beholding one of his paintings in person is an entirely different experience. in the past i had found myself attracted to paintings that had smooth surfaces & highly controlled paint application. here though, the surface of the paintings feels like a living thing. it is a chaos, it is a skin, its texture reveals an emotive snare that reels me all the way in. for me, this works in tandem to the incredible subject matter, lone figures set in darkness, their bodies housing delicate and spidery flora. there always seems to be a kind of seamless melancholy to his work, as if the viewer was catching these beings at the precise moment they decided to no longer be netted . . . instead, a kind of metamorphic, beautiful, wildness blooms from them, reaching up, reaching out . . .

Friday, October 25, 2013

behold thy fate.

Heavenly Bodies: Paul Koudounaris

Heavenly Bodies: Paul Koudounaris

Heavenly Bodies: Paul Koudounaris

from: heavenly bodies: paul koudounaris

Katsuyo Aoki

Katsuyo Aoki

Katsuyo Aoki

ceramic skulls katsuyo aoki 

Jim Skull

Jim Skull

Jim Skull



starting early work on new mourning jewelry and looking to these artists who have already so beautifully captured the essence of 'memento mori'  in their works and research. 

thresholds

leslie bellavance

leslie bellavance

leslie bellavance

in response to the previous post, artist friend allyson mellberg taylor recommend that i take a look at leslie bellavance's work. i was immediately drawn to her 'threshold' series. the work is digitally made by altering antique photographs that was once populated by people, their shapes no longer filling the focal points. this allows for the quiet of the often overlooked backgrounds to take center stage, often amalgams of different images of landscapes, making a new place the eye is drawn to. 

the word 'threshold' always makes me think of "the hero's journey" in relation to joseph campbell's writings on the 'monomyth' idea, which in a flash, is a narrative literary device that has spanned cultures and generations in which, the hero, who lives in the 'ordinary' world is called to quest, to a far a way strange land freckled with supernatural terror and darkness, to rescue someone or something or to fight a battle, of which he is often victorious. once he crosses the first threshold into this new territory (both literally & figuratively,) he will never be the same again, and even should he return 'home', his new skin of 'otherness' will never leave him. . . 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

off with their heads !

Thomas Robson

Thomas Robson

Thomas Robson

Thomas Robson

i will always be unavoidably ensnared by portrait work that defaces or obscures the head and face. thomas robson's work is no exception. i think this attraction stems from a kind of anxiety i feel when viewing ruined heads. i can commiserate with the 'otherness' taking place, as to take away the face seems to take away the very root of a person. it is a bit unnerving. 

 here, i am especially interested in the whimsical violence of this obscuring; splashes of milk white paint or flowers bloom over the appropriated bodies of royalty and upper class figures who are now long dead. in this way, the artist has performed a kind of double theft . . . 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

october cabinet: thinning veil.

Light Witch / Courtney Brooke


*lately*

reading:

* lapham's quarterly is an amazingly beautiful printed journal that comes out seasonally, each based around a general theme of the human experience on earth, such as death (current issue), nature, animals, the sea etc. what i love about this publication aside from its attention to detail in the printed quality and chosen imagery, is how the past and present are represented in the writers they choose. since i only caught on to this publication a few issues back, i'm currently saving to purchase their beautifully packaged back issue box sets. even their social media sites are inspiring, their tumblr is beautiful and they also have a blog i've been keen on. 
  
* waiting for 'heavenly bodies: cult treasures & spectacular saints from the catacombs' by paul koudounaris to come in the mail. this is a beautiful follow up to 'the empire of death', which was released in 2011 to much acclaim. aside from the beautifully macabre images, paul also has a phd in art history and writes wonderfully.  

listening:

* king dude, who put on a really terrific live show. mostly enamored with the dark romantic nature of some of the songs. 

* erras, whom i was introduced to by way of this IG post.  (please add there or here if you have anymore recommendations.) 

* broadcast's soundtrack for berberian sound stage. this was the last project trish keenan worked on & is stunningly spooky.

cocoon life:

* still settling into my loft a year and a half later & recently had the chance to hang all of my ellen rogers prints over a new victorian settee i picked up from jinxed. treasures abound in their shops, if you are local i can't speak highly enough about their picks or prices. 

community:

*my friends over at peg & awl are hosting a kickstarter for margaux's new photography book, 'take your time loving me.' the video for the campaign is wonderful and i truly hope they reach their goal. if you're so inclined, please help them here. 

*from the black lodge is on tour in the US, if they are coming to your town, i encourage you to go and see all the handmade wears the troupe has collected. 

*ovate's new line of clothing is amazing, as usual. 

*naomi nowak & darby from @old_hag of IG have collaborated on a small collection of t-shirts and tote bags with one of darby's signature witchy images. 

*light witch / courtney brooke (pictured) is currently working on a portion of my upcoming lookbook. 

#communityiseverything

bloodmilk news:

*i am starting the process of opening my own webshop in tandem to etsy. all new pieces will only be found here from now on. please bookmark this as my shop. in efforts to remain as independent as possible, this has been a long time coming & though i will keep my etsy shop open, i do hope you'll support me on the new site. i will also be able to accept credit cards on this site too, which is something i've been unable to do in the past. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

what we keep sacred.

Andy Paiko Glass

Andy Paiko Glass

Andy Paiko Glass

Andy Paiko Glass

it's a wonder why it has taken me so long to write about glass artist andy paiko.  (this may be partially due to how hard it is to find large images of his work . . .) i had the chance to see some of these in person at wexler gallery here in philly as part of an amazing group show, (which i wrote about here for HF) and they are just as stunning as them seem to be in images. 

for as long as i can remember, i have been attracted to vessels, objects that can house and contain other objects. as a kid, my father would re-purpose large wooden wine boxes for me to use as carrying cases for my crayons and paper; i suppose this may be where the obsession started and has since grown into my adulthood. freckled throughout my home are the various evidences of this, i have numerous bell jars that house shells and bone and other natural treasures, olde cigar boxes that hold tarot decks and photo booth strips, even antique apothecary jars that still have the residue of the powdered drugs they once held. at the root of this is the desire to revere 'sacred' or personally meaningful objects, to contain what is secret, its value unseen except by those who made it so by way of the vessel.


so much of what i love about reliquaries is embodied in andy's work. it has the touch of the Victorian, seemingly plucked from an era long gone, and yet still has the air of the modern, as many of the bell jars have elongated bodies, etchings or glass growths such as coral. i hope to own day be able to have one for myself, for me to keep a piece of the most sacred object of mine i have yet to name. 

a bit more here. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Dull Age


Currently on an endless loop: Tropic of Cancer.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

*5*

dad

It is hard to believe I have let nearly 2 months go by without checking in here. This silence is a testament to a few things; the summer was particularly tumultuous (both in happy ways, and a few unfortunately gloomy ones as well . . .). I am forever thankful for the growth Blood Milk has been experiencing this year and hope to get back to sharing here more regularly as I learn how to carry on running an independent business on my own.

In lieu of this, today marks a kind of anniversary for my jewels, a kind of endless circle & I wanted to honor this special 'birthday.' Today marks the 5 year anniversary that my father, Richard Schnabel, left this world. 

As a child, I was always attracted to the 'darker' side of life, having gotten glimpses into what I believe can only be described as an 'otherness.' It wasn't however until the sudden passing of my father under tragic circumstances and the subsequent pit of grief that I fell into afterwards that I truly became obsessed. I have often talked about how Blood Milk was born from this dark place, how I needed to find a way to comfort myself. While the intensity of my grief has waned, it is still from this liminal place, that most of my work is created. I am still seeking a way to verify if there is the possibility of an afterlife, if there is a way to more tangibly carry on a relationship with those that have departed our earthly plane.

I could not imagine how, in the last 5 years, making jewelry for myself as a way to cope became something I would be able to do to support and sustain myself. I am grateful to have your support and kindness over the years, I place a lot of value on community and have been awed by how much the one I am involved in has grown. 

Thank you, always, for meeting me here. 



Friday, July 19, 2013

the multiverse part ii.

1a-Camille-the-second-after-lola-dupre-lisa-carletta-prescription-art_740

3a-Themis-the-second-after-lola-dupre-lisa-carletta-prescription-art_740



I posted a couple of years ago about wonderful collage artist Lola Dupré, in relation to new findings on the idea of a multiverse (which still simultaneously snares me as well as makes my skin crawl. have you seen 'Another Earth'?) 

Since then, Lola's work seems to have taken a giant leap into the magical landscape of fellow collage artist Chris Berens (something about their figures feels akin). While these new beauties bare the signature markings of Lola's previous work, ( shattered images oddly reassembled rather than the traditional method of collage: amalgams of multiple existing works to create something both strange and new (MAX ERNST,)) these feel different to me, more mature. The pre-existing images are from photographer Lisa Carlotta & live and breath quite well on their own; but here, they have a more sharpened potency. They are almost inhuman in their exaggerations, images from circus mirrors of ourselves, and carry a quite melancholy in their fractured features. 

My feelings on collage stem from a certain peculiar feeling of deformity I've carried along like a phantom limb for most of my life. When I was just about to enter the teenage wasteland, I had a sizable tumor removed from my sternum. This not only left me with the weird, lingering sensation of 'the medical gaze,' but also left my ribcage and sternum a bit re-arranged. The physical deformity is mostly noticeable to only me, but the psychic landscape of this fracturing has always left me feeling a bit distorted, a bit at odds with the dark terrain of my shape, a bit on edge with those things that are perfect & polished. 

If there is a parallel world or universe, I wonder if my other 'other self' feels the same. I wonder if she knows how to re-assemble. If she knows how to move on, to feel whole, to become new.

Monday, July 8, 2013

to be destroyed.

Abandoned Manor

Room with a View

Abandoned Manor

Encroachment


"The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth." Georges Bataille

from 'abandoned manor' set on by howzey.