‘As Shakespeare said, you can call spirits from the vastly deep, but will they answer?’
Mr. Franklin. Hound of the Baskervilles. 20th Century Fox 1939
Stephen Fowler explores his fascination with American B movies of the 1930’s & 40’s fascination with Spiritualism, séances and Mediums in his latest Artist Book, Cosmic Forces.
Throughout the period these cheap and quickly made films often employed the paranormal in highly effective ends, creating scary and haunting atmospheres to chill the cinema audience.
Introducing and utilizing the props of Spiritualism such as darkened rooms, ouija boards, floating spirit hands and voices and ectoplasm was an economical means to convey the strange and ‘other’. Another was exploiting the suspicion of the outsider in casting brilliant Eastern European and Asian character actors as Spirit Mediums. Scriptwriters drafted eerie, eccentric and sometimes profound lines and for these actors to speak,
‘those beyond, they know, they told me death would come among us’
Mrs. Walters. Charlie Chan’s Murder Cruise, 20th Century Fox 1940
Fowler will continue his exploration of hand cut rubber stamp printing technologies and homemade ink pads in the making of Cosmic Forces.
I made this book by printing a selection of my hand cut rubber stamps.
I stretched the paper and painted it with some very old antique red drawing ink, then I printed/stamped with thick strong bleach, oil and water based ink.
Cosmic Forces will be on show at LXV Books, 65 Roman Road, London E2 6ET from Wednesday 4 July until Tuesday 12th September. The exhibition forms part of a series of shows called Shelve Project curated by Amber Ablett.
For bookshop opening times call 020 8983 2087