The “Graces” cover for this 2017 issue includes “The Three Graces, minus one” by Laura Dear, for this current year count Anno Viii, which can be represented by, and thus can be seen as having correspondence to, a combination of both Atu V, the Hierophant, and Atu III, the Empress. For me this is a compelling cover with both digital and classical themes, reflecting the nature of the library; but also brings to mind thoughts about identity, gender, disappearing, glitching, and graces as archetypes.
I once had an instructor during my college years who told me something to the affect of “An artist’s job is not to create something new, but to take what’s already there and find new ways to look it over.” When considering several different sculptures of the Three Graces, I started to notice the common form of groupings. Two of the three always seemed to end up just a bit closer, just a bit more intimate than the third individual. Considering this, I wanted to create something that explored the gap that forms between the two and the one. I wanted to consider the breadth of distance and words that might exist within that space and what story it could possibly tell.
With the digital aspects of the work, I wanted to contrast the idea of the Graces as a modern relevant concept as opposed to an ancient artifact. My work has been heavily influenced by its digital qualities and I have strove to highlight them rather than attempt to hide them. It was my hope that this portrayal would give the impression of a loss or corruption of data, of the missing sister in the group, or the artifacts of a lost connection.
For the first time, there’s also an alternate cover, included in the digital download. The “Snow” cover includes “The Circle” by Laura Dear. This alternate cover has a kind of Stranger Things / Witch, with maybe a little bit of Let The Right One In, vibe for me.
The woods have always been a very personal place to me. It’s where I had adventures with friends as a child, and where I first had the chance to really explore any part of the world on my own. Years later as an adult, the woods were where I went to find myself, to reflect internally and grow.
It was also here that I was first introduced to Magic with a K, and had my eyes opened to a part of the world I had no idea was there. In the woods I first felt energy as a present thing, and learned to quiet myself and allow myself to exist as one part of the unified whole around me.
As it is, the woods are something of a place of the soul for me, of the subconscious. In this piece I wanted to show those woods in the winter of their life, with the individual, the explorer, coming across a jarring vision of the past. Amidst a snowstorm there is an abrupt emerald glade, where a circle of witches are seen mid-ritual. I wanted this piece to be about self reflection, like a flashlight in the dark illuminating an old box of keepsakes, memories from greener times.
Laura Dear is a fairly new occultist living quietly in the bible belt state of Arkansas. Before this chapter of her life, she has been working as a digital artist. Dabbling into everything from illustration to video editing and production. With her work as a practitioner, she’s explored sigils, psionics, crystal and other earth based craft.