Into the Wood

From inception to creation, the Dark Movements Toy Theatre stage has been empty save for the settings of a blasted Welsh hill-village, and a threatening forest where trees bristle with thorns. It was started in January, completed a few weeks later, and has since appeared in two of the ten new Dark Movements paintings due to appear in my exhibition, opening next week at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

In the painting Pale Horse, a glimmering presence appeared among the trees, though on the stage itself, the forest was empty. Last night, under cover of dark, the arrivals began.







Stage-Curtain and Footlights

Free-standing Set-piece and Ground-row


Above: detail from Veil

Above: detail from Pale Horse

The Mari Arrives

21 thoughts on “Into the Wood

  1. It looks as if the presence of the Mari is enticing those trees to change into horses and other beasts themselves (especially in that last image)…;-) So nice to know that your house has another life at night when ‘things’ happen in the dark and quiet…hope those shenanigans in the toy theatre didn’t wake Jack from his beauty sleep! xx

  2. I do not know why, but I have always been afraid of toy theaters, and of puppets .
    But these images of the pale horse in the blue wood make me want to run to the Mari, and jump on Her, and gallop away through the trees and to the stars on Her back.
    So beautiful !

  3. I hope I can crash the party too! Of course I want to meet the Baba Yaga and have her dance a most unreal reel with me. Ya’ll can beat tree stumps while we go at it! Perhaps a liquor of fico d’India would be appropriate, with cool copper tumblers of water from the Holy Well. Seeing the theater in all of it’s eerie glory (both here and the other behind the facade images on your Facebook page) reminds me of my visit to Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza in the New Year of 2014.

    • And has led to the beginnings of a afterward poem which begins Out of dark movements always comes the beast / be it dragon, raven, horse, bull, unicorn, or sacred sow / from the theater of wants needs and fairy dusts / steps the starborn dressed in animal presence….. Or something like that!

  4. *swoon* congrats Clive, you’ve made the most marvellous, covetable object in the world – if ever I ended up on Desert Island Discs, the Dark Movements Toy Theatre would be my ‘luxury item’ – it’s soooo fab!

    • Ha ha. You are such a sweetie, and I love you. I like to think of you preoccupied on your desert island, playing out scenarios with your toy theatre and making new scenery out of bits of coral and pebbles.

  5. Oh, how I love your toy theatre, Clive!

    It makes me inordinately happy to see what has happened by cover of night on the stage of the ‘Dark Movements’ theatre.

    The Mari that has arrived in this woodland glade is such a benign presence that she turns the trees, which have always had such character, from spiky and slightly threatening to much gentler and more welcoming entities. I half expect a tree nymph or two, who legend has it are very shy, to appear at any moment. (-:

    • Only you would find that spiky environment ‘benign’, Miss Sarah. I think it less a case of my wood transforming into something unthreatening, than you being entirely happy in a Sutherland-esque neo-Romantic landscape of triffid-like thorny trees about to up-root themselves and run after intruders! I see no nymphs here. Baba Yaga, maybe, in a house that stalks the shadows on giant chicken legs, or an ageing cannibal-witch’s midden disguised as a cottage made of gingerbread and icing. Talking of which…..

      • You know me too well, Clive! I guess I am attracted to truly wild places, which humans do not control. I would be perfectly happy wandering through the woods of your toy theatre with the ‘pale horse’ to keep me company. (-:

          • It’s a date! It looks like Jeffery and Maria will be joining us as well for the picnic in the woods. (-:

            Enid Blyton’s “The Magic Faraway Tree” was one of the first books I loved as a child. I dreamed about climbing the tree and disappearing into the magic lands that existed in the clouds above, before I ended my day by sliding down the Slippery Slope from Moonface’s home at the top of the tree. It’s one of the reasons I love woods, as I guess I have never given up the hope of finding the Faraway Tree somewhere!

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