Recent Work: Celtic Gods: Black Annis


Black Annis-1Allow me to introduce Black Annis, also known as Cat Anna: stealer and eater of lambs and children, she lived in a cave that she dug with her iron fingernails. Appearing in both Scottish and Leicestershire folklore, she would “carry humans off into her cave, suck them dry of blood and eat their flesh before … [making their] skins into a skirt to wear1.”

This is the first in a series of pictures that I’m putting together on the creatures of Celtic and ancient British myth and legend. I’ve got more images of Black Annis to finish, but I wanted to share this, because I’ve been hugely excited about doing so for some time.

Of course, images like this don’t come about without the help of fabulously talented people. In this case, my crew: Makeup artist Lynn Docherty; Model extraordinaire Keira Lavelle; 1st assistant, gear boss, location manager and cavebeard John Aldred; 2nd Assistant, assistant MUA, BTS photographer and gear sherpa Päären Mardiste. They’re all stunningly lovely people, and they made a day where we were faced with rain, mud, freezing temperatures and a 1km-each-way hike-up-a-hill into one of my most fun days of my artistic career.

I’ll blog more about this shoot tomorrow. Until then, I hope that you don’t see Annis when you’re out and about tonight.

1. Rankine, D & D’Este, S: The Isles of the Many Gods, Avalonia 2007