The weather outside is not as frightful a popular song might lead us to believe.It certainly isn’t snowing, it’s just a bit damp. Nor do I have access to a fire. My heating comes from an oil filled radiator and the stove is electric. I also have quite a few places to go, like work, or down to the local shops to buy milk. Grossly misleading songs aside, we are no firmly into the realm of the festive season. Out comes the gaudy and functionless frippery, we commence our decking of the halls with symbols of fertility and eternal life, and then ensconce the fresh corpse of a tree in the corner of our living room, assumedly as a warning to other trees and forestall there plans for revolution. But while many of us gather to celebrate this Christian festival, let us not forget its distinctly pagan roots. The height of winter, the fear of the long night and the darkness out there, a time of spirits and mystery. A festival where you did not wait for the arrival of a jovial old man in a red suit, but a festival where you await a visit from a Shaman.
The image for the last Pictonaut Challenge of 2014 is the work of Manchester based artist Josh Hutchinson and originally given the title “Soul Ascending.” What originally caught my eye about it was the stark contrast between the electric blue of the eponymous soul and the dull, yet warm, reds of the background. It certainly evokes a vibe that is a bit of a mix between Native American and Incan.
For those unfamiliar with the Pictonaut Challenge, the concept is simple: One image, one short story (or wordascope) one month, one thousand words. It’s the sort of thing you could probably bash out on a lazy Boxing Day afternoon while the rest of your family are having a doze on the sofa, or even while you’re sitting on the train heading to or from visiting the family. At the end of the month you can shoot me a link, I’ll share the stories around and we can all have a jolly good read.
Keep warm, and good luck.