Expanding On The Concept For Witches’ Sabbath

The original analysis and thought process can be found in the block above. In this post, I will expand on my idea and write down the concept that I was able to come up over the last couple of days.

In this sketchbook double page spread I laid out the fundamentals of the concept – the source material for its inspiration, the keywords that can be associated with the piece, a visual remake to hint at the direction I want to take with the actual rework of the piece, a brief concept rundown and some possible approaches to the making of it that I came up with the help of my groupmates.

The idea for the remake formed after some careful selection of the main keywords was done, I ended up using “coven, ritual, taboo” as the foundation for this concept. The idea would remake the piece in a way that instead of having the piece display the act of a wiccan ritual by witches, it would instead be more so a group of women practicing the ritual of self-love. The remake would challenge the negative outlook on people that participate in such practices, much like the original piece with the goal of it being to oppose the Spanish inquisition and the witch trials that came with it. While portraying the group in a seemingly negative light, the piece’s goal is the polar opposite. In modern context, the act of self-love, if carried out by a woman, is often seen as an attempt to cater to the needs/thrill of a man, as opposed to doing it for their own personal well-being and needs, for example: getting dolled up (make-up, dressing up) to get a MAN’S attention, shaving to please a MAN’S sensual needs, dancing to appear more “inviting” to a MAN, and so on. Essentially, women are expected to cater to the male gaze, but when they cater to their appearance for their own pleasure, they are ridiculed for being vain. There is a heavy emphasis on the feminine struggle within both renditions of the piece – original and modern – but I am not completely sure how we will go about translating that with our remake – will we focus more on our own, individual understanding of self-love, or will we go for the route of exploring the acts of self-love that women practice in a modern context.

The idea for the actual piece is that we will create an altar for the ritual, along with some objects that would play into the theme of self-love, which would also incorporate pagan and wiccan elements into their designs to pay homage to the source material. Additionally, we have discussed the idea of creating masks/outfits to go alongside the altar which would represent our personal understanding of self-love and what it means to us. We thought it would be interesting to form a sort of coven as a tool for narrative-development – the deity we worship being Self-love, however, it being known as Vanity by those who are unaware of the power it truly possesses.

You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting Vanity, thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for your own pleasure.

John Berger

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