Sister-SpinsterAt Haute Macabre I write about Sister Spinster Apothecary, helmed by herbalist Liz Migliorelli. Imbuing bouquets with symbolism and meaning, and encouraging self-care and empowerment through wild blooms and floral abundance, Liz believes in the healing that comes from our own gardens, the local land and our kitchens.

Read more about Liz’s philosophy, as well as about her potions, elixirs, and essences over at Haute Macabre. Plant Magic Made With Love & Ceremony: Sister Spinster

Also! Haute Macabre is up for best alt-culture blog of 2016, over  at Auxiliary Mag If you enjoy reading Haute Macabre’s dark/goth offerings as well, won’t you consider giving us a vote?

 

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Kermit Tesoro Skull planter 1At Haute Macabre this I week squee over those exquisite skull planters created by Kermit Tesoro, who is a Filipino designer previously responsible for manifesting some beautifully grotesque, utterly magnificent avant-garde foot wear.

Read more: Kermit Tesoro’s Memento Mori For Darkling Botanists

There may or may not have been added squeeage due to the fact that The Order Of The Good Death shared the write up, making it the second thing I’ve written that they’ve shared this week and you’ll have to forgive me but I’m having a total SENPAI NOTICED ME moment.

Psssst…! Kermit is totally selling these! They are not up for purchase on his site though, and I haven’t got a link to share, but my best suggestion is to direct message him through Instagram, let him know you are interested in buying one, and give him your email address so that he can send you an invoice. Expect to spend around $105 or so in US monies.

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3d-printed-skull-pendant-jewelry-collection

At Haute Macabre this week I write about the wee wonders & miniature marvels created by the folks over at Fire & Bone.

These “armchair scientists and lovers of the natural world,” make tiny, true-to-life, animal skull reproductions derived from high-resolution 3D scans of original specimens, carefully miniaturized in a digital process, then cast in metal using traditional techniques. Exquisite! Adorable!

Read more at Haute Macabre | Cutting Edge And Ancient: Fire & Bone Creations

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The Creeping Museum is the nonprofit creative vision and labor of love conceived between two friends and a grilled cheese sandwich in a North Portland laundromat in the spring of 2016.  Their remarkable mission? To help artists and independent creators give back to their communities by turning their strange and unusual work into tiny pieces of affordable art in the form of collectible enamel pins– for which to support wonderfully worthy causes.

beautiful monstersThe Creeping Museum continues their mission of making the world a better place through kind hearts and spooky arts with the release of their most ambitious and highly anticipated collection to date: Beautiful Monsters. Inspired by the night creatures of Penny Dreadful, in support of the marginalized and forgotten, Beautiful Monsters is now available.
Read more at Haute Macabre today.

Bonus! I was honored to have made a small contribution to The Creeping Museum’s Eviscerate The Patriarchy auction (proceeds to benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation); believe it or not, I actually knit these mitts up in about 6-7 hours!
Photo credit: B. Brandt / Styling: Maika Keuben

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Bonus! Should you like to wish to swan about in a spookily elegant ensemble inspired by The Creeping Museum, Beautiful Monsters, and Penny Dreadful, see below. As always, click on the image to see a listing of items used.

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When I first read about the incredibly wonderful concept of Death Cafe, I was thrilled to learn such a thing existed and hoped to attend one nearby…alas, there were none to be found local to me. So I held my own! Read more about Death Cafe and and my experiences with them at Haute Macabre this week. today. Featured art by the always incredible Becky Munich.

Bonus: How to wear your own Death Cafe (or, as I like to think of it “How To Wear An Article About Holding Your Own Death Cafe”). As always, click on the image to be linked to the item details.dc1

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evinumen_veilAt Haute Macabre this week I talk with Evi Numen about her role as a Death Doula. We discuss the need for this type of service in a society that lost the vital connection it once had with its dying and the dead, and the training involved in both bearing witness to the process of dying as well as easing the passage from this world to the next.

For the interview, Evi shared some of her exquisite Victorian tintypes, and noted “I’ve been collecting portraits of local Victorians for a while now, mostly in the form of albumen prints (cartes de visite) and tintypes. Most of the people in my collections are anonymous, and forgotten by history. Their portraits have made their way to flea markets and antique shops, no longer in the family album. I wanted to honor them by giving them a new narrative through painting… I think of them as small tributes to the individuals depicted.”

 

 

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The Gift
The Gift

This interview was initially published at Haute Macabre in September of 2016.

The discovery of Darla Teagarden’s mixed media photography and conceptual self-portraiture was a thoroughly unexpected pleasure and a bit of a revelation to me when I initially became introduced to her work a few years back.

First, I suppose, because the image I chanced upon was a portrait of a friend, Angeliska Polachek–small world!–and secondly, although I knew my friend to be quite beautiful, Darla had transformed her into an otherworldly enchantress, a shimmering, splendid, utterly sublime creature. I’m not even the slightest bit embarrassed to admit that this was the very same way I pictured her, when I conjured the lovely Angeliska’s reflection in the mirror of my imagination!

As a fantasist who doesn’t quite always see things as they are, I view our world through a splinter of glass in my eye, a feverish vision of of circumstances and scenarios, slightly distorted and different. Darla Teagarden’s surreal photographic narratives, which walk that delicate line between fable and reality, resonated very deeply with this dreamer in me.

Angeliska Polachek as Titania
Angeliska Polachek as Titania

For the richly detailed imagery that comprises the highly atmospheric vignettes that she photographs, Darla draws on an intriguingly varied background consisting of experiences as a stylist, model, production designer, vintage clothes buyer and cabaret dancer. Through these myriad lenses, her projects are deeply imbued with fragile secrets and intense emotion, and I’ll confess, I have been following her subsequent work quite closely since the beauty of that first tremulous photo captured my heart.

Read further for this extraordinary artist’s insights and inspirations regarding her creations, as shared with Haute Macabre.

Poem for the Unnamed Witches
Poem for the Unnamed Witches

Haute Macabre: You provide the viewer with a narrative through photography; it shares a story, tells a tale. While I understand that you don’t wish to convey utter reality, I would also hesitate to call your work fiction or fable. Would you say that your photos then inhabit the space in between? And why do you think that space is such fertile ground for your work?
We all sort of live between fable and reality, anyway. There’s that side of us which walks into a misty forest, let’s say, and in an instant we make the moment richer in relation to our own experience. Connecting our inner lives to day-to-day situations is a way we can better understand ourselves. Cinema has allowed us new emotional access, and photography is related. I guess what I’m saying is, photography helps me understand myself and my issues.

Widow
Widow

…and as a visual story-teller, what are the kinds of stories you like best to share?
I love sharing symbolic insight and abstraction. I’ve always maintained that when I go into a concept it has to be succinct, like a poem. I love the challenge of being succinct while conveying something that could, if given the opportunity, fill a an entire film. I guess I like stories about survival most. We are all going to die, yet we still have to make choices.

she
SHE

I have enjoyed reading about your perspective on failure. Fail big and often, you seem to say–don’t be a giant, fragile weenie, just go out there and do the thing! I’d love to hear about your inspirations and influences in terms of Doers of Things and Fabulous Failures.
I have always surrounded myself with people who seemed to care less about the perceived consequences of failure and more about the need ‘to do’. The need to do should outweigh fear or else you’re going to be paralyzed. Of course, this is a goal and not always the case, but I try to accept possibility either way before I try something new. When I first began doing my photo projects, I knew I would suck. I did, and the proof is floating forever in the ethers of the web. However, I knew I had something to say. I knew I had to do something that made me less miserable, something that could alleviate injury… and, If i get better at it along the way, great. My inspirations have always been friends who need, not want, to express themselves because, I need it too. I guess it’s a tribe.

Ghosts
Ghosts

“Altars” was a collection of self portraits about living with mental illness, inspired both by your own life as well as the lives of friends and family members. Was your intent to educate or advocate, or perhaps to confront and work through some of your own struggles?
I would like to say my intention was to educate and advocate, but in the end, it was really just therapy for me. Yet, by coming from a singular place, it becomes broad and easily shared. It feels good when someone says, oh! I know this ! It’s a feeling of unity.

Mr. Goff
Mr. Goff

Mr. Goff, Guru of Grief, is a series that appears to be dealing with themes of mourning and loss. Can you speak to how this series came about, and who Mr. Goff is to you?
That series was in two parts, Mr. Goff and The Lamentation of Mrs. Fly. ( one of him alone and one with both of us).Mr. Goff is among the very few people I’d known in my youth, which is a big deal for me because I’ve lost so many friends to drugs, suicide, AIDS, mental illness, and the pure need to distance myself for survival. Anyway, he and I share the love and experience of one person named Nick Bohn- a visionary young man who died from a drug overdose after years of severe, poorly treated schizophrenia. He got me to move to New York were he was working with Kembra Pfahler, Little Annie and other like New York artists as a filmmaker. His life was frightening and chaotic but amazing, and inspired me to grab my own piece of New York. Mr. Goff and I reconnected recently and I felt to need to be with him in a piece of art to mourn Nick, but to also celebrate our survival in a simple visual poem. It’s in the shape of a fable but it’s all about mourning people who are gone , people who shaped you. Friendship.

Vesper (White Bat)
Vesper (White Bat)

And most recently, your Noble Creatures series, can you tell about that?
Noble creatures is about being misunderstood. For whatever reason I find it difficult to express what I’m about and what I need from people in real life. I just suck at it, but I keep trying nevertheless. These creatures are saying, “give me a chance or leave me alone.” It’s just a simple nod to people doing their best to be who they are without beating themselves up to fit somebody else’s ideas. I don’t mean to be precious–I am saying with a certain amount of humor, I’m pretty OK with myself these days, “Here’s my wings, here’s my many eyes, here’s my shell, my burdens, my dangerous bits… deal.”

Refuge
Refuge

Much of your work, though certainly abstract and surreal, is considered self portraiture. I’m curious as to where you see such your art as it relates to the “selfie society” that we’re thought of as living in today?
It’s the same in that the ‘selfie generation” is merely looking back at themselves to see themselves and hope others see them too. I am here! See me! But, there are rather significant differences in self portraiture, generally. Conceptual self portraitures are deliberate stories in relation to space that may or may not require the focus to be on the performer. My body and those of my collaborators are catalysts for story telling. I don’t require my ‘image’ to be the story but that of the environment created around the body. Selfies say, ”see me, I’m REAL !” Conceptual portraiture says, ”Feel this ghost”.

Linnneage
Lineage

Any fantastical ideas percolating that may manifest soon? Any future projects on the horizon?
I want to explore the idea of being saved. We’ve all been saved and maybe even saved somebody. I like the idea that we have the capacity to save someone, from death, from despair, from going down the wrong path, from being blind, loneliness, obscurity, from illness, others, from ourselves. I like how vulnerable we really are. I love that, even with all the casual cynicism, we are still unreasonable romantics.

Thank you kindly, Darla, for giving your time to answer our questions.
See more of Darla Teagarden’s work on her website or follow her on Instagram for news and updates.

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