Realms Forged Within A Vast Imagination: Adrienne Rozzi Of Poison Apple Print Shop | Haute Macabre

Realms Forged Within A Vast Imagination: Adrienne Rozzi Of Poison Apple Print Shop

Witches' Night

I met Adrienne Rozzi,  proprietress of Poison Apple Printshop,  this past Autumn at the bloodmilk Night Market event in Salem. It was one of those moments when, a bit alarmed, you suddenly spy relatively close by someone you’ve admired from afar for ever so long, and to whom you desperately want to say hello. You imagine yourself bolstering the courage to confidently close the distance that divides you, and offer a hearty introduction; you envision how impressed they’ll be with your friendliness and how they’ll laugh at your witticisms and you’ll witness in triumph the dawning realization on their face that wow, this person is pretty amazing! You take a swig from a flask of rose petal-flavored gin…you gather a deep breath and square your shoulders….and then you squeak out a pitiful “i cant do it!” and scurry away to hide in a corner with several shelves of tee shirts and a heap of handbags. You sip more gin. You sigh.

But sometimes, fate intervenes, and somehow, the crowd pushes you together, anyway.  You end up in front of her vendor table, and your nervousness dissipates like a dream as you marvel, wide eyed and wondering, at all of the bewitching art and beautiful screen prints with which she has mindfully, ritualistically, even, draped and embellished her small area. You remember the artistry that drew forth from you that ardent admiration to begin with, the sacred fever it evoked and awoke in you, and when your eyes light on the human who created it, it becomes so easy. You love art. You want to know the people who create the art you love. It really is that simple. You say hello. The world doesn’t end. In fact, it opens to you, anew.

Adrienne Rozzi 2

Worlds of awareness, are, I believe, at the heart of Adrienne Rozzi’s work. The natural world beneath our feet, invisibly churning, breathing, blossoming, dying; the amorphous otherworlds, liminal spaces of transition and transformation; the realms of discovery found in immersive study on subjects both celestial and corporeal; unlocked by curiosity and questioning, always questioning–and the unquenchable desire to share this knowledge, these worlds-within-worlds, with others. In our interview below, Adrienne and I tackle these ideas and so many more. Make yourself comfortable, pour a cup of tea, and settle in; perhaps reach for a pad and paper with which to scribble some notes and questions of your own. For, I believe, that along the course of our conversation today, you will find much to ponder upon and many rare and wonderful new worlds to discover for yourself.

One of a kind altar cloth

Adrienne Rozzi by Leia Churchel 6

Haute Macabre: One thing that strikes me in perusing your instagram and tumblr and various social medias (man, I sound so stalkery,) is this audacious sense of genuineness, openness, and authenticity that just effuses from your every word. It is apparent to me that if you love something, you want to tell everyone about it–which I applaud on two levels. One, that something has moved you so much that you are compelled to talk about it with whomever is listening, and two, you don’t seem the precious type to hoard your treasures (like, you know, people who won’t share their recipes or tell you what is that wonderful perfume they are wearing.) What drives this impulse to share of yourself, and to share with others?

Adrienne Rozzi: I’m so glad to hear that aspect of my personality shines through my profiles! I’d say this urge comes from three distinct places, all stemming from my overwhelming curiosity and wonderment, as well as a yearning for revealed truths. First, that I have always had a somewhat obsessive nature when it comes to subjects that interest me. I strive to know the full scope of a topic through finding a true intimacy between it and my own thoughts— and the more multi-faceted the subject, the better, because the more there is to know, the more excited I become! This connection acts as a basis for me, as it indicates my genuine affinity for the subject and creates an honest foundation for my knowledge base in that area of study. I often feel more confident in sharing my interests once this level of relation is made, for I know my affinity is genuine and therefore can not be threatened. I think for a lot of people, they feel threatened when they see someone post something about an area of interest they share. Some feel the need to prove that they also like this subject, and oftentimes they try to out-do you, as if it’s a competition, and they need to show that they know more than you. This kind of behavior is very frivolous to me, and often speaks more of the person’s insecurity rather than their genuine attraction to the subject at hand. If you really like something, no one can take that away! And don’t be afraid to share that recipe because, if you make it with love, that’s your own secret ingredient that can not be mimicked. For me, I love sharing topics I’m passionate about in hopes that I can find others who share my enthusiasm and, through our mutual interests, we can introduce each other to new topics that feed our insatiable appetite to learn and to know.

The second place of origin pertaining to my urge to share comes from a more exterior realm and the notions of the patriarchal society from which we are unfortunately conditioned. I often observe, especially in areas of the arts, that female artists have to substantiate their knowledge in order to claim their own niche, whereas males merely need to hold their own place. A female artist using magical or occult symbolism is continuously questioned as to the validity of her work and perceived with a more harsh, skeptical eye, whereas her male counterpart is rarely questioned about his familiarity with the same subjects. The most unfortunate aspect of this kind of inequality is that many of the critics are often women trying to tear down other women— an anti-progressive byproduct of our society. Although conceived in a negative place, this kind of pressure elicited a fierce determination within me when I first started sharing my artwork. Fortunately, I was able to overcome such judgements and turn a once negative element into something positive that greatly fed my skills and confidence.

Thirdly, I often come across esoteric artwork in which the artist wants to be perceived as magically enlightened, yet the symbols they use do not relate to each other, or are incorrectly made up all together. I see it, also, in the rash of generic witchy tumblrs and instagrams that tag every magical-looking photo with the same, inaccurate hashtags. This kind of recognition to the magical aesthetic without accurate knowledge to back it up is something that really gets to me. The moderators of such generic feeds seem to long for recognition but their blanketed approach to magic and witchcraft speaks more to their ignorance than their knowledge. If you want to embrace magic work, take the time to learn about it, practice, and educate yourself. The naivety is rampant and remains one of the catalysts that causes me to share the symbolism in my own work. I often hope that my knowledge of these subjects, and willingness to illuminate, will urge others to learn and share, eventually leading to a more enlightened collective consciousness and educated community within which we can all progress.

 

Mayday's Magic Circle

Adrienne Rozzi by Leia Churchel 2

Nature is very present in your art, from the flora and fauna that populate your prints, to the change of the seasons and the turning of the wheel of the year that certainly must inspire your various projects. Can you talk about your relationship with nature and how it informs your work?

Nature has always been a touchstone in my life that facilitates deep thought, catharsis, safety, and offers an arena in which I can find comfort in being honest with myself. Growing up in western Pennsylvania, there was little talk of religion in our home, but nature was held in high regard as a spiritual realm. My two brothers and I were raised on nature walks and frequent visits to the creek that ran through the woods behind our house. One poignant memory I hold dear is when my mom caught a frog in the creek and gently rubbed its belly until it fell asleep. She then placed it in the water and the frog leisurely floated downstream in a state of relaxation. To this day, my mother still possess the ability to charm toads and snakes, and she has the greenest thumb of anyone I know! When I tell her she is a natural witch she just laughs, but I know much of my magical abilities stem from her nurturing. Preceding the woods behind our home were a series of trails riddled amongst a vast field of brush. I can remember running through those paths in delight, picking blackberries and unknowingly finding security in that magical space of transition— the hedge. Although those trails don’t exist anymore, whenever I have dreams of being chased I find my way back there and feel an immediate sense of familiarity and safety.

Today, I continue to find comfort among the flora and fauna of my Pennsylvanian landscape and turn to nature for meditation, communion, and guidance. I swear the smell of earth, especially in the springtime, awakens something ancient in my psyche and, upon emerging from the woods, I feel more grounded with a deeper sense of my Self in relation to the universe. My connection to nature is so much a part of who I am that it pervades almost every drawing I create. The essential, rhythmic cycle of the seasons— birth, life, death, decay, and rebirth— are inherent in my being as I am so deeply connected to the natural world. I have always had a great attraction to the wheel and its symbolism. Through fortune and misfortune, I know better than to step off that wheel. I am a part of it as it is a part of nature. I find my art and life to be much more fulfilling when I embrace the turning and these ever-changing cycles, for they facilitate progress and offer an endless well of inspiration in lightness as well as shadow.

“I believe in god, only I spell it Nature.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Adrienne Rozzi by Leia Churchel 3

The Familiars Totem

Screen printing is a very hands-on technique, with a long, rich, history. How did you come to employ this process in your art? What is it that appeals to you about the process and the tradition of screen printing? As opposed to say, just offering digitally produced/computer generated prints of your art? 

I was first introduced to screen printing in high school and was instantly enthralled with the technique and the potential it offered. Perhaps it’s the archivist in me, but I always wanted to keep my original drawings and felt guilty if I gave them away— as if they were my children or something! A versatile medium with the capacity to produce multiples of the same image, screen printing provided a solution in which I could still share meaningful, handmade pieces while preserving the original artwork. My knowledge of printmaking grew exponentially in college at the University of Pittsburgh, where I learned Intaglio and alternative printing methods, in addition to expanding my area of focus, screen printing. With encouraging professors, I was able to hone my skills and really experiment with the medium, carrying it into other art forms such as bookmaking and sculpture. A pinnacle of my learning at the time was when I visited Florence, Italy to study Experimental Printmaking and the Artists’ Book. I was able to supplement my printmaking skills with paper marbling and inventive forms of bookmaking. The union of these mediums is something I am still very much interested in today and hope to continue exploring in the future.

I’ve always believed a particularly moving aspect of art is the trace of the human hand— that undeniable evidence of the artist’s corporeal connection to their chosen canvas. The brush stroke, the fingerprint in clay, the subtle variation from one screen print to the next— to me, these are the little facets that carry the artist’s true expression and energy, ultimately eliciting more emotion in the viewer. Digital printing offers many opportunities for interesting artwork, but I’ve always found the immediate inclusion of a human element to be much more provoking and intimate.

Golden Earth

Your art is described as “bewitching as it is informative”; a great deal of research must precede the creation of these illuminating pieces– no doubt you enjoy a great love of history! Please talk to us about where this love stems from, and how you’ve nurtured it over the years. What are the sorts of historical tales that resonate with you the most, and which are those you like to tell best through the medium of your work?

History gives us the building blocks from which we create our current world and, although we live in an age of technology, it allows us access to explore the past through a vast array of information that would have otherwise remained obscure. A great deal of my artwork is informed not only by the knowledge given to us from our ancestors, but from the overarching attitudes and atmospheres of eras long past. Perhaps these periods in time get romanticized from our modern perspective, but even that romanticization lends itself, wholeheartedly, to inspiration through nostalgia. In addition to studying printmaking in school, I majored in Art History with a minor in Film Studies and worked for years in our university’s art library. Diving into the past on a daily basis, I found a better understanding of my place in the world against the backdrop of a historical timeline. I learned that the highest virtue of an artwork is its ability to transcend time, remaining relevant for centuries and only growing more sacred as it inspires generation after generation. There is great power in this attribute and too often art is mistaken as extravagant and excessive when it is actually very vital to society. And although it’s been eight years since I graduated from college, I continue to immerse myself in learning and rigorous study of the arts.

The art periods that resonate with me the most are those that possess an affinity for preceding time periods. A good example of this is seen in the Pre-Raphaelite art of the mid-1800s and its reoccurring themes of medieval sorcery and courtship. Another being the psychedelic artwork of the 1960s that harkens back to the Art Nouveau period of the 1890s. This kind of multi-layered aspect appeals to me because my own artwork is inspired by such periods and the emotional atmospheres I gather from them today. In addition to the art of the aforementioned eras, I find great inspiration in the engravings of artists such as Claude Paradin, Albrecht Dürer, Gustave Doré, Alastair, William Morris, Koloman Moser, HJ Ford, and John William Waterhouse.

I love to learn about historical tales through art, because oftentimes it shows a much more honest retelling, maybe not aesthetically, but where societal perspectives are concerned. There is an unwritten history that can only be accessed through the creations of an era. For instance, the Baroque master Gian Lorenzo Bernini found ways to hide his own little “fuck you”s in his sculpture, right under the noses of his patrons. Although I don’t harbor feelings like this in my own artwork, I certainly admire his audacity.This sly incorporation of Bernini’s personality makes his work all the more fascinating to me, because what has survived through history is not only his vision, but his opinions— far better preserved and much more crystalized than the critics writings.

In terms of the history of witchcraft, specifically, creating is my avenue to juxtapose my own thoughts and understandings with those of historical value and in no area has this been more relevant than through the exploration of the witch archetype and iconography. I have a great many works informed by Sabbatic Witchcraft, exemplifying the modern witch stereotype that came to prominence in the 15th-century and has endured in our society’s imagination to this day— the witch as merciless, dark, and cruel, indulging in poisonous plants, eating babies, and supping with the devil. However, this is just one face of the multi-faceted, proverbial Witch. Through my artwork, I enjoy illuminating her many faces— the wild woman, the seductress, the maiden, the mother, the crone, the healer, the creator, and the destroyer— for she is nurturing and that is awesome, yet she is terrible and that is also awesome— she is all. This embracement of the all-encompassing qualities of femininity through the guise of the witch is a concept I find more relevant with each passing day in our horrid world and I will continue to strive for enlightenment, paying homage to her through my creations.

Lastly, building off of my love of magic, history, and keen atmospheric nostalgia for by-gone eras, I strive for an air of escapism amongst my illustrations. Escaping to a different time in history, but also escaping to an enchanting otherworld that exists in bringing elements of history and the delights of magical living together in a realm forged within the vast confines of my imagination. I seek to bring my viewers access into the fantastical worlds of my mind as an artist while maintaining magical and historical accuracy and significance. This, to me, is what adds depth, sincerity, and meaning to my artwork and how I’ve learned to connect with my viewers— to always remain bewitching AND informative.

Witches' Night on Hexenkopf Rock

With regard to conveying historical information and the lessons and wisdom that comes part and parcel along with those stories and lore, there’s the opportunity to express much in the way of “secret knowledge” through your art–that of the American witchcraft, alchemy, and folk magic that I believe are your focus. I’d love to hear your thoughts on sharing the sacred and the arcane via your illustrations.

As is evident by now, art is often my gateway to uncovering more about a particular era, style, or culture, and when it comes to magical artwork, its history is rich and vast. There is a great deal of esoteric knowledge that, for the sake of concealment and survival, was passed on through images and artwork, only put into writing within the last century or so. Like the persevering art I mentioned previously, the endurance of such secret knowledge is fascinating to me, oftentimes instilling an unwavering sense of hope where the longevity of my own artwork is concerned. I used to battle with the fact that I wanted to share such information of which I also believed should remain obscure, only offering itself to those who sought it out. However, kind of like my recipe analogy (pertaining to success through the incorporation of a secret ingredient), occult knowledge is no different— the information will resonate with the ones who are meant to understand it. I could shout about magic work from the roof tops but only those who are intuitively tuned will grasp it. This kind of attitude is perhaps yet another reason I like to share such information, because it brings like-minded practitioners out of the woodwork.

I have always had an interest in a broad range of magical practices including Hermeticism, traditional Cornish witchcraft, Egyptian sorcery and the cult of the dead, Celtic magic and Druidism, Renaissance magic, Gnosticism, and Roman magic. However, not long ago I yearned for a closer kinship with a magical tradition based on a more regional level. Around this time, I visited my grandfather’s grave in Raubsville, PA. After paying my respects, I strolled through the graveyard to visit a tombstone of which I always made a point to stop and admire. Later that day, and unaware of my magical longing, my grandmother gifted me a rare book written by a local scholar about the nearby Hexenkopf Rock, a cursed summit known as the gathering place of witches as far back as the 1700s. Upon devouring the book with relentless enthusiasm, I came across mention of the very grave I had long admired in Raubsville cemetery. It was that of Johann Peter Seiler, a noted 18th-century healer and Braucher who helped develop the practice of Braucherei in the area and was famed for curing hundreds of people in his lifetime. To me, it was no coincidence, for I’m well acquainted with this kind of serendipitous fortune, and in that moment I was nearly reduced to tears— my longing had been heard. A new path had revealed itself that not only paid homage to my wishes, but involved the guidance of my loved ones, both living and beyond the veil.

I grew up near a populated Amish community, where I saw hex signs on a daily basis and they became a welcome sight, as I’ve always possessed a fondness for Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and fraktur. This adoration, in conjunction with my newly revealed path, caused me to take a deeper look at Braucherei, or the Pow-wow magic of the Pennsylvania Dutch and subsequently led to the creation of one of my most in-depth works— Witches’ Night on Hexenkopf Rock. Heavily influenced by Pennsylvania folk art and rich in associated symbolism, this work remains a powerful example of the union between history and my own experience and emotions— a marriage that has come to exemplify the most meaningful of my drawings.

This intense study set a new precedent, as far as fulfilling my own potential, and since, I have put a lot more of my personal study into my illustrations. I am forever enthralled with folk magic practices, for I believe they possess the true, creative and magical breadth of the people and culture from which they emerge. Along with this affinity, I often approach witchcraft through Herbalism, for it feels very natural to me and carries a somewhat more scientific and substantial foundation. This interest in herbalism and a wide range of folk magic finds harmony in my own creative practice, for I often draw with directed intention, and the act of drawing has become my personal and preferred form of folk magic.

More recently, I’ve delved deeper into the study of alchemy and, consequently, my artwork has taken a more intimate turn (no doubt spurred by my Saturns return, as well!). Made a mockery in our modern society, Alchemy is not merely an attempt at turning base metals into gold, but the philosophical approach to the illuminated life and the idea that all humans can ripen towards enlightenment and spiritual purity. This is a journey that involves a great deal of introspection and, through studying this path, my artwork has come to reveal the inner truths I am exploring within myself. Some of my more recent works speak to unconditional self-love, letting go, and the exploration of my shadow self, in which I find much comfort and healing. Although somewhat less historical-based than my previous artwork, it is through these more transcendental works that I have found a greater intimacy with my cherished audience.

Adrienne Rozzi 3

Adrienne Rozzi by Nina Sainato

Adrienne Rozzi by Jeff LeBlanc

You don’t just create altar cloths, and patches and tee shirts– I believe that you have illustrated/are illustrating album covers as well! What role does music play for you in the art of creation? Is there anything you are listening to now that you are finding particularly inspirational? As a further to that, what about cinema? Fashion? Literature? What roles do these artforms play in influencing your own work?

Similar to my feelings towards old-world nostalgia, my close rapport with the arts is carried by my recognition and intimacy with the atmospheres created therein. Much of my listening habits, movie watching, and fashion choices are governed by my mood, so you will often find me listening to an eclectic mix of music genres or wearing drastically different outfits (although always magical) from day to day. For me, my connection to the arts is yet another extension of my personality and expression, so I use music, movies, books, and fashion to induce different mental atmospheres within me and carry me to specific states of mind. I’ve always respected the arts as a medium where laws do not govern us so closely and I think this limitless arena is what makes artistic creation so attractive and relatable. One of my favorite quotes pertains to this. It is emblazoned on the facade of the Secession building in Vienna and I believe in it so strongly that I also have it as a tattoo:

“Der Zeit ihre Kunst. Der Kunst ihre Freiheit.”

translated in english:

“To every age its art. To every art its freedom.”

When it comes down to it, I see music as one of the most influential of the arts, for it possesses the ability to physically make us move and dance, and that is a powerful thing. Most of the time I sway between psychedelic rock, many varieties of punk, goth rock, doom metal, acid rock, traditional folk, psychedelic rock, straight up rock n’ roll, and the undeniable enthrall of good pop music. And when I am forced to listen to the radio, the only channel I actually like is the classical station. So, I’m pretty all over the place when it comes to my musical taste. I like it that way because it has instilled in me a more well-rounded appreciation for the art and its many genres as well as given me a smorgasbord of moods and atmospheres to choose from. A lot of my friends are in bands so our music conversations are always fulfilling, as they can get pretty diverse. Right now, I’m listening to a lot of Coven, Blood Ceremony, and Flower Travelin’ Band with some more mellow tunes thrown in there by way of Howlin’ Wolf and my favorite folk singers, the Kossoy Sisters. I’ve also recently been listening to and enjoying the debut EP from my friends in Sisters of Shaddowwe, titled Demo ’81. When I heard the song that is also their namesake, I was instantly up out of my chair, dancing, and singing into my hairbrush. Although I don’t make custom artwork any longer, their music is so infectious that I had to make an exception and I am currently working on artwork for their band!

As for books, where do I even start? I’ve always had a very soft spot for Transcendentalism and the writings of the Romantics and the Victorian era. I was first introduced to these periods in high school and their words have found an enduring home in my heart and mind. Three of my favorite poems of all time are ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ and ‘The Eve of St. Agnes’, both by John Keats, as well as ‘The Lady of Shalott’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Although I love poetry and novels, I spend most of my free time reading non-fiction and informative books about art, witchcraft, and occult studies. I think I own almost every book published by Three Hands Press and I am currently reading Thirteen Pathways of Occult Herbalism by Daniel Schulke. It is a very fascinating read that is striking a lot of chords with me, where my own magical practice is concerned. He gives beautifully elaborate descriptions of conceptional gardens of energy and thought in which I’ve drawn much inspiration for new illustrations. Reading about the history of magic, witchcraft, and the occult, and implementing the knowledge gained therein, has provided me with a more solid foundation of historical knowledge from which many of my drawings are derived. I read and utilized Schulke’s book Veneficium, as well as The Witches’ Ointment by Thomas Hatsis and By Moonlight and Spirit Flight by Michael Howard to lay the groundwork for my in-depth illustration Lamiarum Unguenta which pertains to the ideas of flying ointments, Sabbatic Witchcraft, and the 15th-century modern witch archetype, and also references the elusive cult of Diana. It has always seemed humorous to me that I should be most influenced by art forms that differ from the medium of drawing and illustration in which I primarily work. There is a pre-set visual language when it comes to witchcraft— the hag, the broom, the pointy hat, — so I think turning to other art forms for inspiration has allowed me to create much more inventive ways of portraying my usual subject matters instead of relying on the common iconography. A fun fact is that I’ve only ever drawn a pointy hatted witch once in my entire career. That type of imagery just seems contrived and doesn’t really do it for me. I will make an exception for the Wicked Witch of the West— she is perfect.

In terms of fashion, this is where I have some real fun. I’ve always had an eccentric style of dress, even when I try to “tone it down.” For me, there is no reason why you shouldn’t wear what you really want to wear every day. Most of the time people think I’m wearing a costume but, luckily, I have a good sense of humor and continue to display my individualism unabashedly. I’m a quadruple Leo so there is really no subduing my flare for expression and, at this point, when I say I have to accessorize, my friends understand this means it will be another 15 minutes before I’m ready to go out the door. Early on in my magical studies, my mentor taught me about glamour magic and capturing gazes as a way of strengthening personal power. In the current book I’m reading, Shculke writes, “Cosmetics, seldom considered a worthy topic of occult discourse, is nevertheless placed historically at the very beginning of magical time, when it was taught by the fallen angel Azazel to human women, one of many such ‘forbidden’ arts that served as the primordial foundation of occult sciences.” I think my heart swelled when I read this, because, on a broader scale, the act of adornment has become a highly ritualistic and spiritual tool for me. This is one reason I strive to collect only handmade jewelry— there is a much deeper energy contained within it that can be accessed and made sacred. I was very lucky, last year, to see the retrospective exhibit of cutting-edge fashion designer Iris Van Herpen and I can sincerely say her work changed my world. It was yet another instance where a medium other than my own highly inspired me to create more inventive and imaginative drawings.

And now for cinema. The very word conjures feelings of happiness and excitement within me. It could be argued that my true heart lies in film. With an overactive imagination and a talent for empathy, movies really alter my mindset above anything else and I usually have to spend a long while afterwards putting my emotions back in order. I’ve often thought, if I didn’t choose drawing and printmaking as an occupation, I would have loved to try my hand at cinematography, set design, or costume making. One goal on my bucket list is to make a prop spell book for a legit movie or television show. I chronically screenshot movies as I watch them and have a whole folder on my computer dedicated solely to spell books in film and tv! Cinema is truly where all of the arts come together and that is what makes for the most immersive atmospheres, in my opinion. There are certain movies I watch over and over just to indulge in their ambiance and nourish my insatiable appetite for escapism. This habit started when I was a young child and would watch The Wizard of Oz on a daily basis. As I mentioned earlier, I have a minor in Film Studies and was fortunate, in school, to have taken some really amazing classes that included Experimental Cinema and American Independent Film, where I was introduced to a lot of filmmakers that remain my favorites to this day. There were a handful of classes that, although not solely film classes, used cinema to supplement the teachings and explore varying perspectives of the subjects at hand, namely Vampire: Blood & Empire, Russian Fairytales, and Madness & Madmen in Russian Culture. Needless to say, this is when my study of film became more in-depth and I developed a much deeper appreciation for the medium and its many components. I am fortunate that Pittsburgh has a rich history in film and a number of years ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of my film heroes, Kenneth Anger, and hearing him speak about his career during the Pittsburgh Film Festival. It was a truly meaningful experience that catapulted my interest in cinema to a new level. Today, I find that I am mostly drawn to cinematography and I swear I get starry-eyed when I see a well executed composition on the screen. Costumes are another aspect that just makes me melt. Some of my favorite movies that possess both of these qualities are The Piano (1993), To Walk Invisible (2016), Jane Eyre (2011), The Witch (2015), and Marie Antoinette (2006). In fact, now might be a good time to mention that I am an avid list maker and movie lists happen to be my favorite. The nerd that I am, I have kept track of every movie I’ve watched for many years now. So I’ll conclude this section with a list of some of my most loved, must-see films. Enjoy!

In no particular order:

The Piano (1993)

Black Sunday (1960)

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

Black Narcissus (1947)

Harold and Maude (1971)

Days of Heaven (1978)

Agora (2009)

The Love Witch (2016)

The Wicker Man (1973)

Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008)

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Cronos (1993)

Pirate Radio, a.k.a. The Boat that Rocked (2009)

Danse Macabre (1922)

The Red Violin (1998)

The Witch (2015)

The Young Victoria (2009)

Possession (2002) (my guilty pleasure chick flick)

The Blood of a Poet (1932)

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

Mothlight (1963)

Morgiana (1972)

– Pretty much any film by Kenneth Anger from 1940-1980

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Lamiarum Unguenta

I’ve seen video footage of your studio–what an utterly magical, immersive space! What is life like in your studio? In what sort of atmosphere do you best create?

Thank you for saying so! My studio is the one place where I can allow my imagination to run rampant and I usually have multiple projects going on all at once. I often have to tip-toe around freshly dyed, drying linens on the floor or work around a tediously constructed still-life, all while little bits of gold leaf can be found clinging to just about everything. It is my personal sacred space that has come to house some of my most inspiration treasures, including my revered collection of antique photography and an array of dried flowers, oddities, and curiosities. For me, time stops when I cross the threshold and I have successfully mastered leaving “reality” at the door. I am a creature of solitude, so it is vital for me to have a space where I can work uninterrupted. Even as a child, I would lock myself in my room and work on a single art project for hours or days, only to emerge looking like a mad scientist who comes out of the lab, hair tousled and haggard but with the crazed look of achievement in her eyes. This habit has only grown within the walls of my creative space and sometimes I lose track of time because I’m so enthralled with my artistic experiments. Prior to my current studio, I was working in the basement of my home, where natural light was scarce and the air was frigid and damp. It was far from my ideal work conditions and eventually I had to seek out another space to save myself from the mental confines of cabin fever. When I began my search, my space of choice was spoken for already but the owner called me the next day to inform me that negotiations had fallen through and my dream space was available once more. I rushed over with my security deposit and, as we hashed out the deal, he said “The question is, are you a good witch or a bad witch? Do you know what that’s from?” I laughed and replied, “Only my favorite movie of all time, The Wizard of Oz!” This may seem coincidental but I knew, at the time, it was a sign that I was on the right path and this was the studio for me, as The Wizard of Oz was such a major part of my childhood. So that is how I came to acquire my studio, of which I’ve been in for three years now. It is situated in the corner of a 130-year-old building and is bright and airy, with windows spanning from floor to ceiling on two entire walls. It is quite the drastic change from my days of basement printing and I’d say the change has done me right. Now, seemingly an entity of it’s own, it has grown and evolved alongside me to encapsulate my artistic energy and treasured inspirations, becoming a safe haven and sacred space integral to my creative mind, process, and aspirations.

Ergot

Adrienne Rozzi

I’d love to hear about future projects or collaborations that you may be excited about! What wonderment is in store for us from Poison Apple Printshop in 2018?
In addition to my aforementioned band artwork for Sisters of Shaddowwe, I plan to start pushing my altar cloths to new levels and hopefully create some larger, major works for a future gallery show. More in-depth illustrations are always at the forefront of my mind and I hope to create a number of these to add to my body of work. Always the life-long learner, I am also taking a metalsmithing class with my friend Leia of Lunation Leathers. We are hoping to one day collaborate on a line of jewelry. Realistically, it will be a while until our skills are sharp enough to undertake such an endeavor, but the prospect has gotten both of us very excited. This year, so far, seems to be the year in which I am finally bringing to fruition a myriad of creations I have long had locked away in my mind. The first of these is my most recent creation, the Bright Star Puzzle Purse love note, and the next will hopefully be a retrospective book of my smaller drawings. I am also in the beginning stages of planning a long-overdue, immersive project that I can’t reveal quite yet. Let’s just say it’s something that will make The High Priestess proud, and I’ll leave it at that!

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S. Elizabeth
S.Elizabeth is a fancier of fine old things, nostalgic whimsies and magics both macabre and melancholy.

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