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Fall 2017 Artist Residency

A window into what we are up to during the Fall residency!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here in Center Harbor and we have been watching the season slowly change, tree by tree. As we drink in the last days of summer, our residents have been busy creating.

Anka Lavriv, illustrator and owner of Black Iris tattoo in Brooklyn, NY, has been working on cards for a tarot deck as well as a number of beautifully delicate illustrative drawings. Her imagery draws from her Ukrainian heritage as well as intuitive insights and patterns from tattoo to traditional Mongolian fashion. Below is some work she has created in the past week.

Grant Hanna is an illustrator living in Beverly, MA who holds a Masters in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. Sourcing his work from his study of historical magical texts, he is working on an oracle deck that depicts magical images from traditional astrology. Below are some that he has created thus far during the residency.

Meanwhile we have been working to recreate our tattoo room. Viewing tattooing as a magical act, we wanted to create a work space that reflects that. After a new coat of paint and some decluttering and then a good cleaning with salt water and sage, we set to work building a magical circle. We aligned with circle with the 4 directions and hung a mirror directly above the circle.

Natan doing the first tattoo in the new room:

An image of an artist book made by K Lenore:

And a few pictures of the beautiful land around us:

Blessings on the new season!

Art is Magic,

K Lenore & Natan

Summer 2017 Artists-in-Residence

Things are still quite wintery here at Star & Snake. The view out the window is snow and naked birch trees and the fire is going in the hearth as we write you to share about the Summer Artist Residency. This will be our fourth formal artist residency and it feels good to be sharing  with you some glimmers of what will be happening when the land and space here is once again fully alive and full of creating.

As with each round of residents, there are some wonderful overlaps in the mediums and energies each will be working with.  Below is a bit about each artist – we hope you will enjoy taking some time to investigate their work, as each is a unique and talented representation of what it means to create from a magical perspective.  We look forward to revealing more about the specific projects that each will be working on during their stay when the time comes.

Art is Magic,
K Lenore & Natan

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Adam One – Seattle, WA

http://symprez.com/

Adam’s description of work to be undertaken during the residency:

Invoking the Star and Snake, I would create a 5′ x 5′ piece on the wheel of time, and the cycle of the Zodiac, with a focus on constellations and actual star alignment in the night sky.  Lately my mind has been entranced with the story of Ophiuchus, the supposed 13th zodiac which only appears every 25,000 years in the procession of the equinox.  Upon its arrival, it is said, that the Golden Gate opens again in the heavens, and all souls are called back to source.  Ophiuchus is the snake bearer, and so serpentine imagery will definitely be worked into the piece along with all of the other zodiacal constellations.  The dates for the residency have a full moon right at the beginning, no better time for stargazing and pulling inspiration from nature into the work itself.

“I is Eye”, Pen, ink & gold paint on paper, 2016, Adam One

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Janaka Stucky – Boston, MA

http://janakastucky.com/

Janaka Stucky is an American poet, performer, and publisher. The founding editor of Black Ocean, as well as the annual poetry journal, Handsome, he is also the author of a few poetry collections. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation. He is a two-time National Haiku Champion and in 2010 he was voted “Boston’s Best Poet” in The Boston Phoenix.

Janaka’s poems are at once incantatory, mystic, and epigrammatic. His esoteric & occult influences, combined with a mesmeric approach to performance, create an almost ecstatic presence on stage.

“Stucky has catapulted into the firmament of my favorite ecstatic writers alongside Diane di Prima, Bill Callahan, Hafiz, e.e. cummings, and Larkin Grimm.”

—Phantasmaphile

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Karin Webb – Houston, TX/Boston, MA

http://www.unamerikassweetheart.com/

Performance artist Karin Webb studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and graduated from Boston University, Magna Cum Laude.  Her projects and achievements are extensive and varied, but really its best to let Webb explain her work in her own words:

“I talk openly about sex and bodies. I create art that challenges the status quo while seducing the viewer; art that inspires and invites personal reflection on a variety of issues our society fails to provide open conversation about. I’ve made people laugh, cry, pass out, throw up, participate, write me a year after seeing me because they can’t shake the questions they have about what my art asks, and I’ve received standing ovations mid-performance… I work in the medium of connection, and I excel at holding a room’s attention in the palm of my hand.”

For more, watch this video of Webb’s Patreon page.

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Ken Henson – Cincinnati, OH

http://www.artistkenhenson.com/

Ken Henson blends magic and mysticism with art processes. He is an Associate Professor and the Head of Illustration at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in Ohio, where he teaches studio courses and Art and the Occult. Ken has been named a Curtis G. Lloyd Fellow twice by the Lloyd Library and Museum, and is the author/illustrator of Alchemy and Astral Projection: Ecstatic Trance in the Hermetic Tradition (LLM, 2014), the channeler of HIGH GRAVITY: Werewolves, Ghosts, and Magick Most Black, and the illustrator of Blue Jay Slayer (Aurore Press, 2016), which is a collaboration with poet Matt Hart. Ken’s work was recently exhibited in Language of the Birds: Art and the Occult and Psychoanalysis Art and the Occult. His articles and/or art have been published in Abraxas Journal, Clavis Journal, Fiddler’s Green, and The Gnostic Journal, and he has presented at SCIENTIAE, Babalon Rising, the Esoteric Book Conference, and the Occult Humanities Conference. In 2013, Ken restored John Augustus Knapp and Manly P. Hall’s tarot deck for its republication by the Philosophical Research Society.

Black Tape Blue Girl/Hekate Redux 24” x 39”
Mixed media on paper mounted to canvas (triptych) 2016, Ken Henson

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Vinsantos – New Orleans, LA

Vinsantos Facebook page

New Orleans based Drag, Musician, Performance and Visual Artist and Queer Witch. Vinsantos is the Head Mister-ess of the New Orleans Drag Workshop.

Playing with live music, via piano and vocals, the art of Drag, film, the spoken word and the visual arts, it’s hard hard to know what to expect from Vinsantos because she rarely knows herself what she has planned next. Vinsantos has had the opportunity to work across the country (and other places) with many of her favorite artist including Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Peaches Christ, David J (Bauhaus/Love and Rockets), Jackie Beat, Jinx Monsoon, Ben DeLa Creme, Bella Blue and practically every Drag Race and Burlesque star that’s not a total C#($*!!!!.

 

2016 in Review

14241573_10209128880194355_8008243112820762182_oBeyond words….

As artists we strive to live as much as we possibly can within the liminal spaces between our imaginations and our external realities.  I can truly say 2016 was a year I came closer than ever to living within a world entirely of my own creation.  Between tattooing in Italy and Istanbul, both of which were incredibly fulfilling, I also was privileged to create my own sacred space in the form of the Star and Snake.   This project, co-created with my partner K Lenore Siner,  has been an incredible journey in itself.

Fall 2016 Artists In Residence

The weather is just starting to cool in New Hampshire and a few impatient trees to change color. With the turning of the seasons we are looking forward to welcoming the next group of artists to Star & Snake. Please enjoy these samples of work made by this diverse group and keep an eye out the first weeks of October for what they will be creating during their time at Star & Snake! – K Lenore & Natan

Christi Dionis
Multi Media Artist and Author of Courting the Shadows
Read an excerpt of Christi’s writing here

download-1 download-2 download-3

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Alec K. Redfearn
Alec K. Redfearn’s kaleidoscopic visions, anchored by his extraordinary accordion work and
sonorous vocals, exist on the fringes of pop music, songs that are as familiar and individual as snowflakes or fingerprints. While his deep knowledge of folk, classical and world music allows him to slip effortlessly from genre to genre, more often, he creates pieces that subvert established forms to produce work of startling originality.” – Cuneiform Records

Listen to a live recording of Alec’s music here
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Matthew Venus
Artist, writer, sigilic magician, rootworker, witch, and magical apothecary with over twenty years of experience in practicing and teaching the magical arts. His writings and photography can be found in Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly, The Green Lovers Anthology, Qliphoth Journal and Modern Witch Magazine where he is a regular columnist. His gorgeous Tumblr page is certainly worth following for more images like those below.

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The Year Ahead

Things have finally gotten quiet here at Star & Snake – a welcome quiet after the months of construction and a busy fall schedule of events. It feels good to look around and see all the changes – the star and snake symbol replacing the cross atop the church, 2 guest rooms built, a new gorgeous kitchen better suited for communal use and the belfry turned into a space for meditation and star gazing.

The question we have been hearing is… what next? Well first, we want to encourage you to join our mailing list. This is your best way to stay up to date on what is happening, as well as receive private event invites. Briefly, our plans include 3 special celebrations, alternated with our 2 artist residencies.

For both Beltane and Samhain you can plan on decadent, invite only parties that will offer up interactive performance, music and art to fill your senses and inspire your spirit. Between the two, at the height of summer, Temple will welcome you into an immersive night of ritual, healing and celebration.

Beginning on the new moon in both June and October are our two artist residencies. Selected applicants will be hosted at the Star & Snake for 2 weeks of uninterrupted retreat and creation. From this, ideas cross pollinate, connections are made and a new community of esoteric practitioner/artists is taking shape. We are currently accepting applications for our June residency and you can find more information here.

What happens in the weeks between these events is still taking shape. A bee hive and planting some fruit trees is certainly on the list, as well as continuing to develop our apothecary room for alchemical and plant work. However, what has been and continues to be true is that Star & Snake is a vessel made to be filled with what you dream into it. As caretakers of this vessel, we want to know – do you need time for magical practice? Do you have something to teach? Are you called to perform or create at one of our events or residencies? If this space calls to you, we welcome your inquiries and offerings and look forward to hearing from you.

Art is Magick,
K & Natan

Fall Artist Residency 2015

Timing is everything. After 2 years of planning, conversations and construction, the first Artist Residency at Star & Snake clicked into motion with the rising of a New Moon. In fact it was exactly as we sat down to our first meal together the moon began its new phase, the opening of a gateway, a perfect moment for this beginning.

Seated around the table were painter Meesha Goldberg from Oregon, author and publisher William Kiesel from Seattle, installation artist Emily Rose Michaud from Quebec, co-founder of the Star & Snake, tattoo artist Natan Alexander and myself. The energy was high as we discussed our intentions for the 2 weeks ahead. Meesha to create a painting that would go directly to the Stephen Romano Gallery, William finishing a manuscript as well as hand binding over 100 copies of the beautiful Triangular Book of St. Germain, Emily working on ideas for a solo show exploring our human relationship with rivers and water and both Natan and I working on some large scale paintings in progress as well as the continual improvements to the space. Everyone was arriving with high expectations of what they would accomplish – time is precious and we could all feel the incredible possibility of what could be manifested with our combined focus in a space crafted to hold our intentions.

Its difficult to put into words the type of energy that is created when a group of artists together dive into their separate creative processes while inside of a closed container. Over the days that followed, the group was spacey, determined, tired and ecstatic in turns. Everyone was working long hours, mostly in the quiet privacy of their separate work spaces. We would come together each night for a meal and then return again for more work. Conversations happened in passing, around the kitchen island while brewing coffee or in the occasional evening moment by the fireplace. Still, the group felt galvanized around a central mission to create.

Some where at the midpoint of the residency, the new finial for the top of the church went up. Natan had designed a snake balanced between a crescent moon and star to replace the cross that had been on top of the belfry tower. It felt so right and seemed to cement that a new aeon had begun for the space, ushered in finally by the combined energy of each artist’s intention. The day the finial went up I began painting the tiny tower room directly beneath it as an altar to Ishtar.
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There is not much that can be written that can’t be explained better by images, which follow. Highlights for me above and beyond the obvious of the art and connections that we created include all of our incredible co-created meals, many conversations on art and esoteric thought, diving into each others creative process during the weekly group critique, our trip to Salem for William to present on the Lunar Mansions and enjoying a brilliant show of stars almost every night. In addition to photos, below you will also find links to each artist’s website to view more of their work. We are incredibly grateful to Meesha, William and Emily for bringing their passion and vision to Star & Snake for our first artist residency. You have helped seed what we believe will be a cornerstone of new esoteric art and practice.

Art is Magic,
K Lenore Siner & Natan Alexander

William Kiesel ouroboros-press.bookarts.org
Meesha Goldberg www.meeshagoldberg.com
Emily Rose Michaud www.emilyrosemichaud.com

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Datura Speaks

We recently returned from an incredible trip in London to take part in Fulgar Esoterica’s two week long esoteric and art event, I:MAGE. Of all the amazing things that happened for us during the trip, one of the most exciting was purchasing a new painting for the Star & Snake – the breath taking oil painting by Francesco Parisi which is pictured above.

While this particular painting was not exhibited during I:MAGE, we were familiar with it as it was on the cover of the first issue of Abraxas, which is where we became familiar with Parisi’s work. It was couple of years ago that we first saw his work in that issue and honestly, his paintings had continued to haunt us both. So when we had the opportunity to view and purchase this piece, we could not turn it down.

The strange thing is that I personally remembered the woman in this painting as holding a Y shaped stick – I did not at the time recall that she was holding the dried pod of Datura stramonium – a plant I had originally learned by the name “Angels Trumpet” (although this is technically incorrect) and is also called “Devil’s Trumpet” or “Devil Weed”.

Coincidences. When I met with Emily Rose Michaud, the first artist who contacted me about a residency at Star & Snake some months ago, our original talk was about how Datura kept coming to her mind when she thought about the work that she was going to make during her residency.

I thought that this was interesting because only a week before I had discovered a Datura plant while weeding just outside the entrance to the church.

The first piece of artwork that we purchased for the space was “Angel’s Trumpet” by the Australian artist Katia Honor and now the new Parisi. Interesting!

The indigenous peoples across the Americas, such as the Algonquin, Cherokee, and Luiseño have used this plant in sacred ceremonies for its hallucinogenic properties. Datura has also been used in this manner in Ethiopia and in India where the plant is ritually smoked by Sadhus and believed to be a favorite of Shiva Nataraja.

For me, Datura has always been a very special plant as it is what gave me my first experience of plants “speaking”. While living in the Superstition Wilderness in Arizona I used to visit a circle of these plants at dusk when the air began to cool and it’s night blooming flowers opened. I loved sitting with them not just for beauty of the huge white flowers but because the plants themselves had a sort of quiet, velvety presence to them that I enjoyed being close to.

At the time I was not familiar with the plant and knew nothing of its hallucinogenic properties. It wasn’t until it started speaking to me that I asked the medicine man I was staying with about it and he explained what it was used for. However, he cautioned that each plant had a different potency so in order to ingest it “safely” the indigenous people were able to speak with the plant and determine the particular dose from each plant. Good thing I already had that covered!

What all of this means in terms of Star & Snake is a story unfolding. However, it is clear that this plant and it’s powerful spirit has spoken up – in a way that most anyone could hear – as an ally for this space.

With gratitude,
Natan & K Lenore

"Angel's Trumpet", oil on canvas, Katia Honor

“Angel’s Trumpet”, oil on canvas, Katia Honor

Welcome to Star & Snake!

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We are so very excited to be officially launching Star & Snake! It has been just under a year now since we first laid eyes on the “church house” and felt the whispers of what is surely to be a life long journey of community, art and exploration. There has been a TON of hard work put into financing its purchase, clearing out the cobwebs and tuning into what wanted to be created. And through all of it it has been very clear that this is a space created through magick and created for magick.

It has also been clear that this is a space to be shared. The vision of a sacred space where people could play, pray, study and create is a vision that we hope involves YOU. Over the next months there will be many opportunities to get involved – gardens to be planted, rooms to build, and art that needs creating. We are looking for artists, teachers and healers who would like to share their skills by holding a workshop or event and artists to apply for our first Artist Residency in June.

For starters, we ask that you please join our newsletter so we can stay in touch and help us spread the word by sharing Star & Snake with others you think will feel in line with its vision. We look forward to you joining us on this journey!

All the best,
Natan & K Lenore