“I am an artist … the creative in me, a wild river that cannot be contained or restrained.”
“I am shaman, sorceror, witch … dedicated to the Old Gods, the dead & to the dwellers of dreams.”
“I am multifarious … a kaleidoscope of possibilities.”
Painter, sculptor, illustrator, writer, researcher, director, performer,
Witch & Shaman – Eleanor Boyce lives & works in Scarborough
(& Whitby), England. One time editor & publisher of the
illustrated journals OCULAR & MASQUE & original ‘in-house’ artist for record companies LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER, PENINSULAR & EBONY. A
variety of her illustrations & writings have been published on the
small press circuit & she is also author of the book BURN WITCH, BURN: Media Hype & the New Inquisition
(Wyrd Press), a cutting edge investigation of the Satanic Ritual Abuse
Myth & panic of the 80s. Having walked the halls of academia Eleanor
was awarded a Batchelor of Arts (with Honors) in Fine Art & a
Master of Arts (with Distinction) in Contemporary Theatre: Theory &
Practice. She has engaged in extensive research into the seminal
Japanese founded dance/theatre ANKOKU BUTOH (Dance of Utter Darkness) & its creator Hijikata Tatsumi, during which she worked with some of the worlds leading Butoh performers, including Ko Murobushi, Tadashi Endo & Yumiko Yoshioto. A
future book is planned expanding & elaborating upon this research.
At present numerous projects are being hatched & nutured, among
them an illustrated book of short stories, more paintings, scultures
& an autobiography.
My sister & I lived through a childhood that was materially deprived & emotionally barren, witnessing & experiencing many things the young, let alone adults, ever should. The major strains of personal & artistic development were seeded in these formative years, bleak as they were, so I do not, therefore, bemoan my childhood but see it rather as the fertile soil from which myself, as weed or flower, has sprung.
I have drawn for as long as I can remember. In the absence of the usual childhood toys, I tore paper into strips & pencilled figures on them. These paper strip figures were given names, characters, histories & for many hours my sister & I created little playlets whilst physically animating them. Also, at the back of a house where we once stayed was a wood. Adjacent to the wood was a doll factory & a dump. Despite boards displaying ‘Danger’ warnings we spent a great deal of time rumaging amongst the discarded refuse for heads, arms, legs etc. to fashion our own dolls. Of course, they were rather strange figures, not having entirely matching pieces. These we kept in the ‘palaces’ we made in the woods & in such damp & dark conditions they soon grew their own clothes of moss & lichen. A few years later I was given a shop bought doll, a very pretty thing with ringlets, ribbons & bows.It was hardly the same and I loved it far less than my woodland self-made creatures. The roots of my fascination for drawing, stories, theatre & sculpture are evidenced here, in these early years. Painting, dancing etc. came later.
My mind has always swung on a pendulum – not between right or wrong, but between sense & nonsense. Much was confusing, & the questions ‘what’ & ‘why’ were incessant & in excess of other children (such questioning continues into adulthood). The way people were/are & how society operates always seemed a touch sick & unjust to me hence I had a burning desire to assist in bringing about changes. Left wing politics, alternative life styles, communal living & so forth I embraced wholeheartedly until it became apparent that the only real change that could be effected was if one worked on the self – & all things being inter-connected, it really was the only place to begin work.
So, in order to contribute to a
world consciousness change, I plunged into examination of the psyche,
into the esoteric/magickal. Seemingly having an uncanny natural ability
to quickly assimilate & get to the kernel of things, I went though
various systems & initiations. An interest in philosophy &
psychology has always run in tandem with esoteric, magickal, shamanic
and witchcraft practices. That I use the apellation of ‘Multi-coloured
Shamanic Chaos Witch with Jungian & Thelemic tendencies’ is really
to indicate that I do not adhere to any one ‘path’ or ‘system’ . I take
what ingredients I wish & mix them all up in a cauldron of my own
creation – in other words, I do what works by my own study,
experimentation & experiential knowledge, not that which has been
dictated by others.
Academia was both stiffling &
liberating for me. But, through it, I was able to discover concepts
& the work of artists I would, perhaps, otherwise never
encountered. Antonin Artaud, Samuel Becket & Hijikata Tatsumi were
amongst those whose work had a profound effect upon me & some of my
creations are directly influenced by them. Hijikata Tatsumi’s work led
me into a genre that I had not yet personally explored – that of dance.
It was a revelation to me & I will ever continue to dance, albeit
not always publically. My gratitude, therefore, goes to Dr. Tony
Gardner who introduced me to Butoh when I was still an undergraduate in
Theatre Studies. My eternal gratitude especially goes to Mr. Mike
Deegan, my English teacher whilst I was in my early teens, the first
person to fully treat me as a human being & without whose
encouragement my life could have taken a very different course &
been the less richer for it. From that encounter, the poem”I am Not Yet
Born” by Louis MacNeice will be with me always.
I am, to coin Satre’s phrase in his tome on Genet, an ‘ontological outsider’ & have lived my life on the edge of society. To create, to destroy, to delve into realms others would fear to tread, is as necessary for me as breathing. Art & magick are inseperable and a way of life. The well spring of creativity never runs dry with me, I just simply cannot keep up with myself. I only hope that I can make manifest, give form to more than a fraction of my inspirations before my time is up on this earth. The thought, that one day, today, tomorrow or long after I have gone, another may pick up something I have created, be stimulated, enriched & derive strength from it, perhaps even feel not so alone, is delightful to me – and I hope it will be so.
Currently working on the designing of my own Tarot Deck – THE SINGING SERPENT TAROT