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In August 2014 we were invited to take part in Ymedaca, a project by Hester Reeve at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which culminated in the ritual sacrifice by fire of the artist herself.

On the 15th and 16th of July we’re back, this time as part of a Weekend of Wonderful Things to help celebrate the YSP’s 40th anniversary. There’ll be all manner of magical and wonderful things happening. Do pop in, say hello, and participate. It’s going to be fun!

Incidentally, for those who missed Ymedaca, there’s a book of the same title by Hester Reeve (with a few contributions from Magick) published by and available from the YSP.

This day we shall not falter
On our journey to Athena’s Altar.

Best of luck to all the Guardians, Liberational Manoeuverers, Supplicants and Celebrants!

http://hesterreeve.com/ymedaca

Et in Arcadia ego. From left to right: Andy, Hester and Damon check out the location for Ymedaca's climactic event.

Et in Arcadia ego. From left to right: Andy, Hester and Damon check out the location for Ymedaca’s climactic event.

Andy and I were up at the relative crack of dawn to travel to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to discuss a few burning issues with artist Hester Reeve and the YSP’s Damon Waldock. We needed to sort out locations for the Ymedaca events the Magick Lounge group is involved in, and agree on the route for the procession to the climactic presentation on 30 August 2014.

During the day of 30 August 'Magickal' experiences will be available to YSP visitors appropriately in and around the 'Greek Temple'.

During the day of 30 August ‘Magickal’ experiences will be available to YSP visitors appropriately in and around the ‘Greek Temple’.

Afterwards we were able to fit in a visit to the Park’s newly refurbished 18th century chapel which currently houses a stunning exhibition of works by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The project is the first by Ai Weiwei in a British public gallery since ‘Sunflower Seeds’ at Tate Modern in 2010, and is well worth experiencing. More information here.

 

In case the Loungers were wondering where I was last Saturday, I can assure you that no Argentine Tango was involved on this occasion. Andy/Ashton and I spent a fascinating — indeed magical — day at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park discussing plans and preparations for the Ymedeca event the Magick Lounge is involved in. We had conflagration conversations with the artist, Hester Reeve, and a talk and guided walk with the YSP’s Senor Curator, Helen Pheby.

I you’d like more information, check out my post of 24 February or speak to Andy or myself.

Ymedeca_3Loungers may recall my asking for volunteers a couple of months ago to get involved with the Ymedaca project at the magnificent Yorkshire Sculpture Park later this year. We’ll be working alongside other groups from the area, including the Cantabile choral group, Hand Tools Users United, The Royal British Legion, Wakefield Pagan Moot, West Yorkshire Astronomical Society and the Yorkshire Sun Society.

Plans are progressing nicely within the core Magick Lounge group (which is basically me and Andy Cooper, so far). Others are now beginning to show an interest, having presumably managed to overcome their aversion to their world of magic becoming embroiled (tainted?) with that of art… I’m particularly pleased that our favourite special effects friend Jared Manley has agreed to help out with certain aspects of fiery ritual sacrifice.

For those at Blackpool who were wondering why Andy and I weren’t ensconced in the Ruskin on Saturday evening displaying our esoteric card handing techniques to the usual eager beer-soaked throng, we’d driven over to the YSP for a photoshoot for Ymedeca. Thanks to Roger and the (press?)gang for standing in for us on our exhibition stand, to Tony for the involuntary clothing loan, and particularly to Andy for doing all the driving while I kept him awake by regaling him with really fascinating tales of my arty adventures in the ’60s and ’70s. (Those I can remember.)

Being in the YSP at night was a great experience on its own — out in the park among looming sculptures lit only by a pale moon and the photographic lights — if a little chilly. (At least the eternal Blackpool February wind had lost most of its power by the time it reached Wakefield.)

The photograph above is montage of three pics I took during the shoot. Not great quality but I think they give an idea of the atmosphere. The lower and top right pics show a couple of the locations. The top left pic is of the entrance to the cafe area where we repaired from time to time for hot drinks and sandwiches while the shots were being set up. This was quite a complex job with seven ‘guardians’, a Platonic solid (some of which turned out to be a little less than solid…), and the reclining artist having to be arranged and lit appropriately. Each took up to an hour to set (we were there from 5:30 until nearly 11:00 p.m.), but we did have stand-ins (Sheffield Hallam students) for the main characters so we could skive off for the aforementioned warming drinks if we wished.

It was a fascinating, educational and most enjoyable evening working with the photographer (sorry, can’t recall his name at the moment), the Sheffield Hallam crew, and of course the artist, Hester Reeve. Perhaps I can persuade Andy ‘primary-bed-wrangler’ Cooper to add his comments?

For more information about the event click here. It runs from 28 June to 7 September, with the ‘Magick Lounge liberalation manoeuvres’ (involving fire, the Ring of Gyges and ritual sacrifice; sandwiches, tea and hot snacks available, Roger) taking place from dawn to dusk on 30 August. Keep that date free. (Although I may not be around for the dawn bit, fascinating as this section sounds, being more of a dusk person myself.)

And do talk to me or Andy if you’d like to take part.