in march of 2012 i curated a gallery show featuring the work of a scottish textile artist named madeleine shepherd. in our few chats about scotland she told me about the beltane fire society and of course i started paying a lot of attention. visually, there was so much inspiration for krampuslauf there.
then zander bruce wrote a two-part memoir about his experiences with BFS, from punter to chairman of the board — literally. it was so raw, so balls-out vulnerable, so open for the taking… so everything i love and hope our lauf is.
i got more interested in the BFS after finding zander, and being able to chat with him on facebook and in e mail. he was open and generous. his facebook posts were sometimes hilariously graphic.
when we decided in early 2013 that we would do one or two “big builds” for the 2013 philly lauf, we started to look at photos for inspiration and saw that BFS — among other places of inspiration — had articulated puppets, floats and costumes with mysterious skeletons.
now you never know what you’re going to get in this world when you do it, but i’m a big believer in asking for what i want. and i asked zander — what ARE those things made of? and, like so many things we’ve found this way — and shared — “trade secrets” really aren’t that protected in festal culture. and so zander gave me the magic password, which was: withies.
easy enough to get in the UK, these withies, but nobody ships ’em overseas. it took a bit of work to find a US seller (who is actually a british woman in new york state) and so not only did we get to play with dried withies to start, but saw that live cuttings for cultivation were for sale. i thought… why not grow our own? after all, liberty lands is a park full of gardens.
so we did it.
watering was the best part.
by an odd coincidence, our krampuslauf fire dancers, lux arati, were in the park as well, making a video!
that made it extra fun.
krampuslauf happenings in early may, just as the world is coming into bloom. it was a lovely day. and i am happy to name our garden after our overseas friend zander, who inspired me and skilled us!