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Art Macabre at Twin Peaks UK Festival 2017

20 Oct 2017

This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within.

When the first two series of Twin Peaks were broadcast from 1990 to 1991, I’d been an avid follower of every episode. Nowadays, however, I watch almost no television at all, so the programme’s return in 2017 had sadly passed me by. It meant that when I was offered the opportunity to model as a “very iconic character” from Series 3 at the Twin Peaks UK Festival, I couldn’t begin to think what might be involved. And then I was shown video of ‘The Woodsman‘ in action…

Within the festival’s weekend schedule, Art Macabre life drawing was set for 3pm to 4pm on Saturday 7 October, and 1pm to 2pm the following day. Molly Beth Morossa would be posing as Audrey Horne on both days, but I was only available for day one. I arrived promptly at 2pm to give plenty of time for make-up and costume. Jon Attfield was taking the reins for this event, so it was a bit of a reunion; I’d posed together with Jon and Molly for the Art Macabre Sherlock Bones event in December 2015.

Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre – home of Twin Peaks UK Festival 2017

“If we’re not at the right place at exactly the right time, we won’t find our way in.”

Jon’s preparation for the weekend had been meticulous. I provided only my body and my faded old black jeans, whereas Job brought boots, T-shirt, shirt, fingerless gloves, hat, fake beard, candy-stick cigarettes and Snazaroo face paint. While methodically transforming into character, we were occasionally smiled upon by passing costumed cabaret artists from the Double R Club – major players in bringing the festival to life. We were ready in good time. At 3pm, upon Jon’s cue we entered the Black Lodge.

Me, The Woodsman … The Woodsman, Me

The Black Lodge – © SoulStealer Photography

© Jon Attfield, for Art Macabre

Whilst I myself had not hitherto been acquainted with The Woodsman, a spontaneous “ooooh” from ‘Peakies’ in our audience suggested a high approval rating for the choice of this character – and for Jon’s uncannily accurate recreation of him. Audrey and The Woodsman would be sharing the Black Lodge sofa space for six poses: 5-minutes, 5, 7, 10, 10, and 15-minutes. They may not have encountered one another in any series, but it happened right here in Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre.

In suitably surreal Twin Peaks style, shortly after the fourth pose commenced we had a fox wander into the Black Lodge and remain skulking behind the curtains for a time. This was a first for me in any life drawing setting. After our initial surprise – naturally I remained motionless – the show went on, and the task of luring out the timid creature fell to Jon. Until now, it seemed as though he’d planned for every eventuality, yet even he could be forgiven in not foreseeing this one.

© SoulStealer Photography

© SoulStealer Photography

© SoulStealer Photography

It was a drawing session for fans rather than dedicated artists, but the fans acquitted themselves well. It was a pleasure to enjoy their drawings and share the enthusiasm after our final pose. A few photos were taken in the Black Lodge, before Martin – the official photographer from SoulStealer Photography – led me through other festival rooms to get some more evocative shots; his images are stunning. It then remained only for me to wash, change and grab coffee and a doughnut. Damn fine festival.

From → Art

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