Sophy Hollington’s practice has long been imbued with folklore, mysticism, and the odd nod to the, undoubtedly brewing, apocalypse. “Myth, superstition and ritual all say so much about where we come from and our psyches” says Sophy. “There’s an unknowable element to these things which is naturally intriguing – something I like to take advantage of in my work.”
Her 2017 publication, My Mind Hides a Friendly Crater, proved a cathartic experience: “In an act of self-indulgence, I [got to] work through my (extremely rational) childhood fear of an asteroid impact. Since then, I’ve often included a comet or meteor in my work as a small memento mori”. Now, her expertise has been utilised in a series of commissions for All Hallows’ Eve; rituals, potions, asteroids and graveyards galore.
“Lino-cutting invites darkness and duality into a piece by its nature”, says Sophy. “Couple that with my own interest in symbolism, archetypes and the occult, and I suppose it makes sense that this is a busy time of year for me.” Although inspired by themes and ideas that surround Hallowe’en, Sophy “tries to stay clear of hokey Hallowe’en stereotypes”: “It’s so interesting that almost every culture has their equivalent festival of the dead, and each one has its own visual associations, including our own pre-Americanised, pagan Samhain”, she says.
The commissions, for Bandcamp, Bon Appetit, The New Yorker and The New York Times; cover all kinds of expressions of myth, superstition and ritual. Sophy’s illustrative responses take in everything from the crossovers between post-industrial music and ritual; to a grandmother’s food-based spell-like rituals; a candle-lit night of performance in a Brooklyn cemetery; and the re-telling of Sophy’s most terrifying childhood memory – which involves both Nostradamus and Bruce Willis’ star turn in Armageddon.
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