Oh spare me from all these zombies and Spidermen, and artificial cobwebs. What’s all that about? I know that Halloween evokes dark, sometimes sinister emotions, images of ‘delightful horror’ so to speak, but it didn’t just start with Hollywood films.
In Celtic folklore, Hallowe’en or Samhain marked the end of one year and the passing into the next and it was believed that at this time, a window into the ‘otherworld’ was temporarily opened so that mortals and spirits could communicate. The souls of the dead were thought to return home for this one night and therefore candles were lit, prayers were offered and then, the festivities began – eating, drinking and various divination rituals and games, involving nuts and apples.
People also went from house to house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food – impersonating the souls of the dead and accepting offerings on their behalf. That doesn’t sound too sinister to me. I wonder when it all got taken over by the zombies?
Anyway, the children love it so who am I to argue? And International Children’s Day is celebrated in November each year and for all these good reasons, the Olivier Cornet Gallery will be presenting an exhibition at “VUE” next weekend – based around childhood memories and children’s games.
“VUE” is Ireland’s National Contemporary Art Fair. All the best galleries under one roof – no need to walk around town in the rain! It opens at 6pm next Thursday (5th of November) at the RHA and it continues until Sunday the 8th – it’s the big event of the year for the galleries. The artists showing with the Olivier Cornet Gallery this year will be:
Annika Berglund, Michelle Byrne, Conrad Frankel, Hugh Cummins, John Fitzsimons, Jordi Fornies, Jason Lowe, Yanny Petters, Kelly Ratchford, Adrienne Symes and myself.
I’ll be exhibiting a series of ‘Hallowe’en Apples’, remembering the old Hallowe’en games we played as kids – trying to bite the apple as it was floating in a bowl of water or, hanging by a string in a doorway – Good fun, of course, but the significance of those games too is lost in the mists of time.
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