Sophy Hollington reveals new clothing collaboration inspired by an Icelandic ghost story

Just in time for Halloween, the Brighton-based illustrator collaborated with clothing line Percival to illustrate the story of The Deacon of Dark River.

29 October 2021

Djákninn á Myrká, or The Deacon of Dark River, is an Icelandic folk tale that tells the story of a ghostly deacon who takes his living girlfriend for a ride under the moonlight only to try and pull her into his grave to join him in the afterlife, from which she manages to escape. Sophy Hollington has provided her own version of the story in the form of her signature linocuts which have been embroidered and screen printed onto Percival’s jersey line.

The scene depicts the two lovers – one living and one dead – going for their moonlit horse ride, along with the quote “The moon glides, death rides”. In classic Hollington style, the figures are minimalistic and are adorned with celestial symbols like stars and animated moon faces. Symbols like stars, the moon, a volcano – a nod to the story’s country of origin – and a horse. The line is announced alongside a behind-the-scenes video which offers a look into how Hollington, through an intricate and organic process, creates her familiar linocuts.

“I was particularly drawn to a quote from the Deacon as he’s riding with Guðrú,” Hollington tell us, “where he says: “The moon glides, death rides. Don't you see a white spot on the back of my head, Garún , Garún?” referring to a glimpse of his skull that was showing through the death-blow to his head.” Hollington continues to explain to us that in Icelandic folklore, “spirits of the dead often give themselves away by repeating the last word of a sentence and being unable to pronounce certain words which explains why he can’t say her name properly.” The scene Hollington depicts is the moment Guðrú realises she’s riding with her deceased partner’s spirit and not the man himself.

The line also features a limited edition Ouija board hand screen printed in London with Hackney-based Manson Press. The glow in the dark board is designed by Illwookie, AKA Will Richards, and a custom laser-etched planchet to contact spirits.

The collection is available online and at the Percival Soho store.

Sophy Hollington: The Deacon of Dark River (Copyright © Percival, 2021)

GallerySophy Hollington: The Deacon of Dark River (Copyright © Percival, 2021)

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Sophy Hollington: The Deacon of Dark River (Copyright © Percival, 2021)

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About the Author

Dalia Al-Dujaili

Dalia is a freelance writer, producer and editor based in London. She’s currently the digital editor of Azeema, and the editor-in-chief of The Road to Nowhere Magazine. Previously, she was news writer at It’s Nice That, after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh.

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