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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Austin Osman Spare’ tag


More Spare things


A couple of Austin Spare-related news items arrive in the same week so it’s worth linking again to Earth: Inferno (2003), a short film by Mor Navón & Julián Moguillansky based on the book by Austin Osman Spare. This is a production I have to damn with faint praise by being pleased that Spare is […]

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A Book of Satyrs by Austin Osman Spare


The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word “satire” is Formerly often confused or associated with satyr, from the common notion (found already in some ancient grammarians) that Latin ‘satira’ was derived from the Greek ‘satyr’, in allusion to the chorus of satyrs which gave its name to the Greek ‘satyric’ drama. The word derives […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 257


The Nine of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith, and the same card from The Ghetto Tarot, a Haitian deck created by photographer Alice Smits and Haitian art group Atis Rezistans. Almost four months after the murders in Paris, Charlie Hebdo continues to be problematic, to use a common epithet. The “p” word occurs with such frequency […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {religion} | 5 comments »


Yuggoth details


Yuggoth Cultures (1994) by John Coulthart. Earlier this week I spent a day scanning this painting—which I’m now surprised to find is 21 years old—so I might at last have a good quality digital copy. There’s been a copy on the website for years but that was a print made at a high-street copy shop […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {occult}, {painting}, {typography}, {work} | 7 comments »


Spare things


Cthulhu Cultus: The Sun is Sick (no date) by Austin Osman Spare. I’ve been telling people about this drawing for years but I’ve not posted it here before. Spare produced this piece after Kenneth Grant gave him some of HP Lovecraft’s stories to read. I’ve never seen it dated but it’s probably from the mid-50s […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia}, {work} | 9 comments »


Dreaming Out of Space: Kenneth Grant on HP Lovecraft


Going through some of my loose copies of Man, Myth and Magic recently turned up this article by Kenneth Grant that I’d forgotten about. I have two separate sets of Man, Myth and Magic: a complete edition in binders, and a partial collection of loose copies of the weekly “illustrated encyclopedia of the supernatural”. The […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {magazines}, {occult} | 8 comments »




“Are you your own master? Or are there forces beyond reason that shape your actions?” This full-page ad appeared in issue 72 of International Times, Jan 28, 1970. The part-work encyclopedia, Man, Myth & Magic, was launched at the best possible moment, capitalising on the late-60s’ resurgence of interest in the occult and unorthodox spirituality. […]

Posted in {magazines}, {occult} | 2 comments »


Edmund J. Sullivan’s Sintram and His Companions


More Sullivan, the illustrations this time being for a 1908 edition of Sintram and His Companions by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. This is one of Fouqué’s lesser known works, a tale of a Norwegian knight which the author based on the famous etching by Albrecht Dürer, The Knight, Death and the Devil (1513). The etching […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


Abraxas: The International Journal of Esoteric Studies


A welcome arrival in the post recently was two issues of Abraxas, the book-format journal of esoteric studies from Fulgur Esoterica. I’ve always observed the contemporary occult scene from a distance, being more interested in cultural spin-offs whether those happen to be music-oriented—as was the late, lamented Coil—or art-oriented. Something I always enjoyed about Kenneth […]

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I:MAGE: An Exhibition of Esoteric Artists


El Trigono de las lesiones (2010) by Cristina Francov. I:MAGE is an exhibition of occult-inspired art which opens a week on Sunday, 19th May at the Store Street Gallery, Bloomsbury, London. As exhibitions go it’s modest in scale but with an impressive roster of contributors old and new: Agostino Arrivabene, Ithell Colquhoun, Denis Forkas Kostromitin, […]

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01 First (1985). I’ve linked to so many publications at the Internet Archive I’m a little surprised it’s taken me this long to find something featuring my own work. Abrahadabra was a Dutch periodical covering subjects familiar to readers of the esoteric magazines of the 1980s (RE/Search, Rapid Eye, etc): Industrial music of the TG/Psychic […]

Posted in {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {work} | 2 comments »


Green Pipes: Poems and Pictures


This is a strange book. Green Pipes: Poems and Pictures (1929) was written and illustrated by Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks (1903–1963), a man better known these days for a substantial collection of memorabilia and archive material related to 20th-century dance. Paget-Fredericks studied with Léon Bakst then went on to create his own costume designs as well as […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {dance}, {design}, {illustrators}, {occult} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 84


Regeneration (2011) by Toshiyuki Enoki. Via. • HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, the art exhibition that caused such a fuss last year at the Smithsonian Institution, opens at the Brooklyn Museum, NYC, on November 18th. Among the events associated with the show is a screening of James Bidgood’s lusciously erotic Pink Narcissus. David […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {fashion}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {politics} | 1 comment »


Murmur Become Ceaseless and Myriad


Efflaration (1952) by Austin Osman Spare. The Austin Spare revival continues with another exhibition, Murmur Become Ceaseless and Myriad at Flat Time House, London, curated by Mark Titchner. Unless I’ve missed something this is a significant moment since it’s the first time Spare’s work has been paired with that of a more contemporary artist, the […]

Posted in {art}, {occult}, {painting}, {sculpture} | 5 comments »


Weekend links 58


Oya by Alberto del Pozo (1945–1992). Also known as Yansa, Oya is Changó’s third wife. She is the goddess of the winds and of lightning and is mistress of the cemetery gates. Passionate and brave she fights by her husband’s side if needed. Her favorite offerings are papaya, eggplant and geraniums. From Santeria at BibliOdyssey. […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography}, {religion}, {science} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 55


From the Ornamental Age series (2009) by Seher Shah. Seher Shah has recently updated her website giving us a better view of her extraordinary art. • The Demon Regent Asmodeus, my short film of Alan Moore’s reading from the first Moon & Serpent CD, has been posted to YouTube. In other self-promotion news, Mahakala, a […]

Posted in {animation}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {dance}, {design}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {politics}, {science}, {work} | Comments Off


Kenneth Grant, 1924–2011


Kenneth Grant by Austin Spare (c. 1951). Kenneth Grant, writer and occultist, died last month but the event was only announced this week. He’ll be remembered for the nine fascinating occult treatises he wrote from 1972 to 2002, and for continuing the work of Aleister Crowley as head of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a position […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {work} | 25 comments »


Weekend links 36


Mervyn Peake’s Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland finds itself used to promote High Society, an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection devoted to the long history of human drug-taking. There’s more about the exhibition here and also an accompanying book by Mike Jay from Thames & Hudson. Related: The Most Dangerous Drug: A group of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {television} | 2 comments »


Owen Wood’s Zodiac


Yesterday’s zodiacal illustrations reminded me of this grubby item (depicting the twelve houses of the zodiac and four elements) which I took the trouble to scan since there’s no other example of it on the web. (Click for a larger version.) The artist, Owen Wood, was a highly-regarded illustrator commissioned to produce a poster in […]

Posted in {art}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {occult} | 10 comments »


Weekend links 26


The interior of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County “Old Main” Building, 1874. Reblogged over the past few days on numerous Tumblr postings, none of whom had bothered to find out any details about the picture. I’m with Silent Porn Star on the contextless reblogging issue. • Keith Richards et Mick Jagger à […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {science}, {television} | 4 comments »







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