Send me your bones!

Today, I found a great loot of bones in my mail, send in from Sweden. Eternal thanks to Jani from Ashes & Rain, who collected all those in the forests while bravely fighting off blood sucking insects. For everyone who might wonder what I am doing with bones, take a look at the “Wheel of Seven“, one of my favourite bone creations so far. That being said, the call for bones will never end, if you have some spare bones or skulls, I am always happy to make art out of them. Please contact me via Laetitia.Mantis(at)gmail.com to get rid of your bones and make an artist happy!

Empty | Not empty at all

My walls are empty, but not empty at all it seems… While part of my collages & paintings are still in storage after the last moving, the other part is still somewhere in Austria after “The Rise Of The Cosmic Fire” tour in December last year.  Soon all my creations will finally come home. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to the day. I specially miss my favourite, Submission, it will find its space above the altar.

Wolf child

Fruits of the forest © Laetitia Mantis

Originally  the term wolf child relates to a child who has lived isolated from any human contact from a very young age. These feral children are known to often lack basic social skills and an interest in the human activities around them. We find quite a few examples in history for wolf children.

Although I did not grow up amongst forest animals, this is exactly  the way I feel about modern society most of the time. My interest in common passtimes and “normal” subjects of interest is quite limited. Art and music – yes, I can relate to that, but the roots of these go back much further than anything you would call civilisation.

Some people might even say I indeed lack social skills. Of course, if you want to talk about your huge flat screen television, your new designer boots or getting your nails done, you bore the wolf child in me to death and I might misbehave and feed your impression of lacking any social skills. And I rarely feel sorry for it.

Well, I grew up in the modern world like you. I know how to use a computer and a smartphone, obviously. I do have profiles on social media sites to promote my art. I do not demonize everything modern. I have learned to put a few of these things to my use, for as long as they are useful. But the brainwashing attempts of the modern “bread and games education” didn’t really succeed with me. I am very aware of the fact that some things might be temporary and gone some day – and for most of them I will not shed a tear. There are also things in the modern world that I avoid completely, like any kind of video gaming. From gameboy to playstation or computer games, I do know that these things exist, but I never spent a minute of my life with it. These kind of passtimes create nothing from my point of view, and creation is one of the things I care about most. People often tell me that they “reset their brain” with passtimes like television and gaming, after a long hard workday, which they probably do indeed, but not the way they intend to, but following the intentions of the ones who are developing  these “games”. When I want to “reset my brain”, I connect with the elements of nature. I get lost in a forest or stare at a fire.

Although this wolf child loves solitude, I care about friendships. Social media has ruined the term, you can be “friends” with anyone anywhere. But there is a positive aspect as well, some true friends would have never met if it wasn’t a social media contact that started the spark for a real connection.

I also care about knowledge, but it must be practicable. There are many people who have read far more books than I did, but reading and practise are not the same. Theoretical knowledge can even hinder you sometimes. There are a lot of books about gardening for instance, and it is a good idea to keep some of those in your household if you maintain a garden. But I do not treat them like the ultimate wisdom. If you do your gardening strictly after a calender that is handed to you, you will find yourself much less successful than someone who observes his environment and the holy elements – and does gardening according to it.

Speaking of knowledge, in the times of internet it seems that there is information about everything. Google and the likes have become all-knowing garbage dumps. And for every “fact” there are tons of “alternative facts”. You can spend a lifetime reading about conspiracy theories, but what can you gain from it? A feeling of superiority because you “woke up”? Fear, because you know, “they” are after you? The realisation, that slavery never ended but got more subtle? Will you sleep better, after sucking on the big tit of information? Truth and reality will never be the same, but reality can bite your ass anytime, totally oblivious to the nobility of truth.

I care  about freedom. But not in an anarchistic way. Every smallest tribe has its rules. And when you decide to run in a pack, you run in a pack. Although enjoying life is a huge part of keeping mental health, some things have to be done, no matter how you feel about them. Freedom is not about doing nothing or being lazy. But of course, the label of laziness will always stick to the artists and philosophers.

Something that is for sure an important part of my personal freedom, is the lack of need for many things the modern world has to offer. Because all of these things come with a prize that can quickly reduce your freedom. Quite often I hear words like “you have to buy this or that thing, you absolutely need this in your household!” Instead of explaining myself, I smile, because I know I don’t have to play the consumer game if I don’t want to. I don’t need shopping sprees for my happiness. I don’t need dozens of dresses or shoes. I rather pick up rocks and little things from the forest and worship them.

My personal bubble of civilisation bursted long ago. And once the lights will go out everywhere else, I will keep the fire burning and hope for other wolf children to do the same.

The frozen heart ritual

Something I created last year, somewhen in August I think, but that got lost in my file archive. The “bird’s nest” was build by myself as a prop for the shooting, it had  a diameter of around 40cm. Accidentally I baptized the structure with blood, because I did cut my left hand while making it. Had to do the shooting in the early morning hours, around 4 am, so no one would see the fire in the neighbourhood. Due to the hot days everyone around was scared of wild fires, but fire being my major holy element, I know how to handle it. The local butchery was quite puzzled about my request of a complete heart (it’s pig, as visually closest to a human heart), usually these are cut into half and frozen like that before being sold. But I was granted an exception and got a fresh one without the cut. Did you ever ask your neighbour if you can use their freezer to freeze a heart? Lacking a freezer myself, I did. The heart was used later to feed a few local crows who enjoyed the meal a lot and who carried out the last part of the ritual that way.

Back Online

I have been silent here for many weeks, due to my stay in an area with no reception. It is still impossible to reach me by phone, but mails and messages will be checked more or less daily from now on. I will slowly work myself through the pile of unanswered messages within the next days…

 

Invictus

Invictus (Thank you C.M. for the image)

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

My artwork “Invictus” was inspired by the Victorian poem with the same title by William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). It is an overpainted collage, with a dimension of about 70 x 50 cm.

The original artwork has been framed in a gold-coloured antique vintage frame and resides within a private collection in Thuringia, Germany, within a stately home. It was one of the pieces that weren’t really easy for me to part with, but it is good to know it in such a lovely place. There is a strictly limited edition of 23 artprints available at the Ateliershop, with different sizes to choose from. It is also possible to create a custom size art print.

Henley’s poem does tell you more about this artwork than any words of mine ever could. If you follow my writings, you might have found out already that I do not write these “work introductions” to explain my art, but rather to give you a background story and some basic data. I have never been much into poetry at all, most of it I find a waste of time to be honest, but this one is a piece that did strike a chord with me when I read it the first time, and it does again, any time I re-read it. It has been like a mantra for dark times for me ever since.

Invictus

Detail

Rise of the Cosmic Fire Tour | Flensburg

Another two snapshots, this time from the originals exhibited in Flensburg! Thank you very much to Diana Sunvemetal for setting up this wonderful events and sending me these shots! Check out the homepage of QUANTHEON Touring for the remaining tour dates or read my posting from earlier today below, with a snapshot from Erfurt.

Diana setting up my work in Flensburg

Original artworks “Battlecall” and  “Kali”

Rise of the Cosmic Fire Tour | Erfurt

Snapshot of my prints on the merchtable from last Monday in Erfurt! Thanks to Daryl Parson for sending me the image!
The Rise of the Cosmic Fire Tour with Naglfar, Schamasch & Anomalie is still on the road, here are the remaining dates:
29.11.18 – Oberhausen, Helvete Pub
30.11.18 – Arnhem, Willemeen
01.12.18 – Aalst, Cinema
02.12.18 – Paris, LE GIBUS
03.12.18 – Colmar, Le Grillen
04.12.18 – Göttingen, Freihafen
05.12.18 – Mannheim, MS Connexion Complex
06.12.18 – Aarburg, Musigburg
07.12.18 – Milan, Slaughter Club
08.12.18 – San Dona Di Piave, Revolver
09.12.18 – Vienna, Viper Room Vienna

The wheat and the chaff

I have mentioned it in private conversations before, but it’s also worth a note. Bad times are bad times. BUT, if you try to see the good things, the parts that push you into development (your only way should be ever forward!), there is always something to learn and to appreciate. It’s sad but true that we do learn a lot through painful experiences.

I have been in bad situations before in my life, nevertheless you never get used to “loosing ‘friends'”. Yes, double quotation mark here. Because the ones you loose, have never been there in the first place. They liked you for what you do or own, but not for what you ARE.

That being said, the last weeks & months have been quite interesting. The wheat and the chaff are separating. I could shed a tear, but I prefer to move on and take just the ones with me who are worth it. I was going through the same experience when I closed Atelier Abraxas in Leipzig a few years back. Suddenly I found myself with less “friends”. But apart from the initially painful experience, it’s a cleaning process, a process of stratification and knowledge.

If you are going through a hard time and a lot of changes, see the loss of humans around you as a chance for a brighter future. Do not hang on, don’t be desperate. Don’t try to fix things that can’t be fixed. Embrace the process of cleaning. Find out who your real friends are. And find potential real friends, humans, you maybe don’t know for a long time but who are willing to surprise you and to jump into the river with you.

I am hard to push to talk about love. But some few of you humans, I do love you, while I can only offer my disgust to the mainstream masses.  But you, you are keeping me from being a complete misanthrope, living as an hermit, throwing dirt at those who pass by. There might be times when I appear cold, but you are the ones worth keeping up the flag in a world full of shit. This is a homage to you. I do love you.