Sculptures by Philippa Haines

All photos taken from Philippa Haines on Flickr.
I successfully Googled my high school art teacher. It's fascinating to see her work for the first time - these weird, fantastical figures. They remind me of the film MirrorMask, designed and directed by Dave McKean -  known for his ethereal, spooky, and slightly cartoonish dreamscapes (and his Sandman comic book covers, which reminded me of Anselm Kiefer when I first saw them). McKean and Haines are similar in that their work shares that perfect cartoonish spook feel. This kinda makes me feel like an enchanted little kid being told an elaborate story. It's like a nostalgia for something that doesn't exist - that special kind of excitement when you could almost believe a myth or legend. They also remind me of the BBC TV series adaptation of Gormenghast.

I remember, when I was really young, I had a book about an enchanting woman who lead someone into a forest. I have tried to remember more details about this book so many times in later life and have never succeeded in finding out what it was, and it sounds ridiculous, but I feel like I lost a world. I remember the feeling I would have when I read this book was the most intense feeling of curiosity and imagination and I think my whole body would shiver. I was as enchanted by the book as the character in the book was enchanted by this woman, to the extent that I wanted to jump into the book and become lost in that story's world. I think I actually came close to believing it was real, like my own version of Narnia or Jumanji.

I can begin to emphasise enough just how intense this experience was, but everything else I've discussed in this post evokes a smaller level of that incredibly enchantment, that mysticism and yearning to enter the fictional world, whether the world is directly described or shown, like in MirrorMask or Gormenghast, or merely suggested by a single figure or image, like Haines' sculptures.

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