JIM CARTER
RUM LAD, 2021
1st station, Rum Lad (Fox)
2nd station, Victim of Antares (Robin)
3rd station, Siskin Caught in a Starling's Cup (Siskin and Starling)
4th station, Moonbox (Crow)
5th station, Altar of Torn Falcon (Peregrine Falcon)
6th station, Weathercup (Siskin)
7th station, The Heathen Grail (Roe Deer)

Throughout the making of this work I picked over the shards of so many animals - they appeared in the dark night full-bodied and I thought of the sky between them that was no space at all but pools that trembled to a rare and twilight language. In that boneyard at the extremity of voices and streams, I thought to interrupt the dead, and the contagious material (of hawthorn, hair, earth, animal, bird and man) knotted with fire into a single body.

The birds, which I think of as charms and magical objects, represent renewal and passage for the animal’s spirit and are food for his winter journey. I made their wings and tails from the remnants of foxes, green and white - a shoulder blade was a wing for a finch and, for a crow, two leg bones dark with tissue and skin. Through this largesse I wanted to be ally to the hard and supple body of the fields, for it to be in clear relationship with my own. When I scratched and cut the birds with a jackdaw’s beak and the teeth of a fox, with their scraps and claws, the god entered the work. It buried its head in the wood and bone, and the fires of low england burnt.

I did not always think of my method as a sacred observance, for though it begins and ends in the subtle, often it is turbulent, erring toward the disruptive. I took the paths argued by fox runs and tree shadow. I wanted to be tight in the land, trapped and cut but witness at least to the secret, uncommon creatures. But perhaps, after all, it was a crude ritual: a desire to be minister of a forgotten magic which puts lightning in the body.

Rapture (Music to accompany the series)

Rum Lad (Blog)