Celtic Winter Festival, celebrated yearly by community arts performance charity Beltane Fire Society, known these days as Halloween in the mainstream culture. Samhuinn marks the change from Summer to Winter, overseen by the old ancestral wrinkled Divine Hag, the Cailleach.
I was commissioned to create a dress that would bring to life the Cailleach vision. Here, the dress was to be emerging from the heaviness of the cloak. The dress is made from hand dyed organic cotton.
A few words by Helen as Cailleach: “She came calling from the depths of illness and grief; bare-knuckle thumping at my door and hissing like a snake around my ankles. Through nocturnal realms of skin, fungi and hair and waking visits from moths, jays and mugwort.
This year the Cailleach is demanding that we PAY ATTENTION, take heed, listen and act from a place of fierce unbridled love.
How do we travel down into the dark earth, into winter, through pain, loss and sorrow and out the other side? How must we honour the abundance we’ve shared and pay respect to those places that have been neglected and crying out for attention? How do we do this as responsible guardians of our Earth, as individual humans and as a community?
She loves fiercly.
She is still angry.
She loves fiercly.”
Performed on Calton Hill, Edinburgh.
Concept and performance by: Helen Copley
Dress and Consultant Designer: Mona Kastell
Photography: as per photos legends