Girls Cast Wide Nets, mixed media plate, 2020
Cheese Face 2020
Woman with new born bricking herself into a hearth, 2019
Like the human body, a house was believed to have vulnerable points where witches, fairies and evil spirits could enter more easily. Children today may imagine Father Christmas entering via the chimney when all the doors and windows are locked – a legacy from the past, when the chimney was a focus of concern. Sixteenth – and seventeenth- century paintings depict witches flying up chimneys on the way to meetings with the devil; they could also descend down them into people’s houses to cast malicious spells. Such fears were widespread. During a trial in England in 1867, for instance, the jury heard the daughter of John Davis, of Stratford-upon-Avon, accuse a local woman of being a witch and coming down the chimney to torment her. Witches were even believed to be able to pass through the slightest of gaps such as key holes.
Excerpt of text taken from Spellbound catalogue, Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford