Friday, 1 January 2021

The Shiversike

A couple of Christmasses ago my weird girlfriend bought me a copy of "Wilder Mann", by Charles Freger. Fascinating photographs of a project to document folk costumes all around Europe. Carbuncles of cowbells, faceless, formless creatures, towering monoliths of straw. Horns. Clattering strings of bones. Incredibly artistry and folk history.

This Christmas, my weird girlfriend gave me a wild man costume. Hand made, by herself, over several months of work, literally giving her blood with the pricking of many fingers while stitching wool to fabric.

The wool for this wild man costume came from the beautiful Swaledale sheep of Kexwith. You can see the clipping of the wool here. Two bags full (sorry, not three bags full) of these Kexwith fleeces were transported to London and then stitched. Add on to that a mask made of folded paper, some White Park cattle horns, and a pole.

The stick was originally plucked from the woods of Surrey in 2010. It finally found its purpose in life as a totem pole adorned with skulls and small bones.

This is the Shiversike. It strides the moor from winter solstice to the new year. You will hear it coming from the jangling of the cowbells, and the rattle of bone garlands made from its victims.

Anyway, I started 2020 as a photographer. I end it under my new guise as The Shiversike. He is available to photograph your wedding day at short notice, and promises to eat no more than three guests.