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shrpnup is an artist and dear friend of mine who lives in San Antonio, TX. He’s the screenprinting prince behind all that cool HVY BLK clothing you see everywhere. We only get to see each other ever so often, so I thought I’d share a little bit of what we did when I saw him last in May. We played with his cool light strip for like an hour lol.

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Mayday’s Maygic Circle by Adrienne Rozzi // Poison Apple Printshop

Limited edition of 18. Three-color screenprint on archival paper.

Wheels and magic circles have been used by magical practitioners dating back to ancient cultures. The wheel acts as a graphical microcosm of the universe itself and represents the sorceress’s relation to her surroundings and available energies. Mayday’s Magic Circle embodies the origins, traditions, lore, and symbols pertaining to fire festivals practiced around this time of year (May 1st) to mark the return of spring and summer.

At the wheel’s core is a depiction of Flora, the roman goddess of flowers, sexuality, fertility, and vegetation. Her festival, Floralia, is one of the oldest recorded holidays in which Mayday-like traditions arose. The fire festivals of Beltaine, Mayday, and Walpurgisnacht all hark back to having roots in Floralia traditions making Flora the perfect centerpiece for Mayday’s Magic Circle.

The first inner circle of the wheel touches upon common traditions practiced during Mayday including erecting a Maypole, gathering flowers, building bonfires, crowning the May queen, hand fasting, and visiting natural springs or wishing wells. The Maypole was thought of as a phallic symbol representing the sun which fertilizes the earth to bring about new life. Gathering flowers and wood for bonfires was very common throughout all springtime festivals as a way of sharing earth’s bounty with your family, neighbors, and community. A young maiden was chosen to lead the Mayday festivities and crowned the May Queen as a representation of Flora and mother earth. Finding love and being flirtatious were encouraged during the festivities and therefore many betrothals came about during this time which lead to weddings during the following month of June. This is a tradition still somewhat prevalent in our modern age and attests to the undying customs of Mayday. Although Mayday and the like are fire festivals it is important to note that water was also worshipped during the celebrations as an aid to the earth’s growing season. It was a common occurrence to visit natural springs and wells the morning of May 1st and that the first pale raised from the well (as well as the morning dew) was blessed with the magic of spring and would bring you good luck and beauty throughout the year.

The second ring from the center of the wheel depicts the animals and magical creatures believed to correspond to Beltane and Mayday. Goats, hares, and honey bees were all worshipped for their energetic and sexually active nature as a symbol of fertility. Cattle were blessed in Beltaine bonfires to ensure good health and an abundant growing season. The mythical creatures associated with springtime are Faeries, Pegasus, Giants, and Satyrs. It is believed that May 1st marks the day when Faeries come out of hibernation to cause playful mischief and spread their magic throughout the green lands once again.

A thin ring of symbols makes up the next layer of Mayday’s Magic Circle. Alchemical and planetary symbols represent fire, the sun, water, the earth, the moon, Venus (the feminine goddess), Mercury (the masculine god), and Taurus. Interspersed between these symbols are ancient runes representing protection, the torch, the sun, awakening, the gift, the cycle, longevity, and motherhood. The runes presence on the wheel represents the Scandinavian cultures that also hold a springtime festival on May 1st referred to as Thrimilci. The mixture of alchemy, astronomical symbols, and runes alludes to the fact that although they are different cultures, springtime is a joyous season that effects everyone throughout the world.

The outer ring of the magic circle represents the trees, plants, and herbs commonly worshipped and used during Mayday ceremonies. Clockwise from top is Lily of the Valley, Willow tree, Lilac, Hazel tree, Apple blossoms, Juniper tree, Woodruff, Fir tree, Bluebell, Birch tree, Ivy, Rowan tree, Cinquefoil, Oak tree, Primrose, and Hawthorn Tree. Among these trees there were 9 sacred woods gathered in preparation of Mayday and Beltane which were used to light the ceremonial balefires.

The entire wheel is encircled by the ouroboros, the snake eating it’s tail, as a reminder that Mayday festivities are to honor one half of the year in a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth. Also spanning the entire wheel is the constellation of Taurus which is highlighted by silver leaf accents. Cultures would know when it was time to prepare for Mayday and Beltaine when the sun reached 15 degrees Taurus in the night sky.

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Some Other New Year by Ivorin Vrkaš & Corporeal Geometrics

“Some Other New Year provides an artistic perspective on the passing of time and introduces a discourse on personal motifs and recollections connected with moments in life. Through the exhibition and accompanying calendar Corporeal Geometrics curates a visual narrative told through twenty four temporal impressions from Croatian and Serbian artists.”

 Artists: Miron Milić, Lonac, Klasja Habjan, Booboo Tannenbaum, Melinda Šefčić,Dragan Kordić, Marko Vilipić, Hana Tintor, Filip Peraić, Paolo Čerić, Artez, Tamara Pešić, Mirko Rastić, Ivorin Vrkaš, Andrea Resner, Stipan Tadić, Zlatan Vehabović, Vedran Klemens

Credits: Creative Direction, Art Direction, Design, Copywriting & Presentation Photography - Ivorin Vrkaš, Project Management, Organisation & Exhibition Keeping - Gregor Mihaljević, Press, Copywriting & Exhibition Keeping - Tom Palinić, Filming, Editing & Exhibition Photography - Bojan Haron

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Crowning of the May Queen by Adrienne Rozzi // Poison Apple Printshop

Thought I’d share a few shots from the printing process for Crowning of the May Queen. Screen printing is a printing technique that involves applying ink by hand to a flat surface through a woven mesh screen. Through a scientific process of using light-sensitive emulsion I am able to convert my drawings into stencils on the screen. Each color has it’s own stencil and is applied in separate steps using a special hand tool to push ink through the screen. The Crowning of the May Queen screen print has a black “Key Image”. The colors are applied first then allowed to dry before the black key image is printed over top. The holes that you see in the paper line up with small pins to ensure each layer of color is applied in the same place on each print. The print then gets trimmed, signed, and numbered! The benefits of screen printing rather than digital printing are great. Not only are my screen prints 100% hand made from start to finish, but colors are more vibrant and even tactile. You can feel the ink raised on the surface of the paper and though slight, this makes the colors stand out and adds dimension and texture. I am a strong believer in DIY and all of my fine art prints and patches are handmade using this screen printing method.