Welcome to the archive of the John Barleycorn blog, produced by Howard Gayton and Rex Van Ryn during the process of creating their graphic novel John Barleycorn Must Die. As part of that process, you'll find discussions of magic, of creativity, and 'Around the Table' discussions with a range of internationally known artists, writers and film makers. The graphic novel was printed in a limited edition, so if you managed to get one, good for you! Although this project is over now, we're leaving this blog online as an archive and as a snap shot in time.
Friday, 23 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Friday, 9 December 2011
Friday, 2 December 2011
Friday, 25 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
Friday, 11 November 2011
|11/11/11/11/11/11 by Rex Van Ryn.|
The 11th millisecond of the 11th second of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this millennium. We hope this moment in time brings you good fortune!
Friday, 4 November 2011
R - Yes, indeed, Howard, well!
H - After our sojourn chatting around the table with Alan over the past two weeks, we are returning, like dogs to a bone, to our ever increasing obsession with coincidence! We hadn't planned to...
R - That's true.
H - But....
R - But there has been such an avalanche of coincidences/synchronicities over the past few weeks that I am starting to think that maybe Barry Manilow was right: "Could this be magic, now?"
H - I had a very interesting discussion about coincidence and synchronicity last weekend with Dis, the co-publisher of Hadean Press. Dis mentioned that in esoteric thought, this repetition of coincidences is known as the Golden Thread, and can be viewed as an indicator that one is on the right path.
R - ...As distinct from the Silver Thread, which keeps you attached to your body when you are travelling on the astral plane.
H - ...Or the Copper Thread, which is used to conduct electricity.
R - ...Or the lead sheets that people pinch from church roofs and turn into gold.
H - Over three months ago, Rex, you drew the page below as part of a spread for the very last scene of our book. As readers can see, the 'camera' is pulling back from St. Paul's Cathedral to a small sapling. In our story, the sapling is of great symbolic significance. It represents a re-imagined, transformative process. Little did we know at the time that St. Paul's would it itself become so topical a symbol around precisely these issues!
R - Incidentally, the price of gold is at an all time high. Does anybody want to buy any lead?
Friday, 28 October 2011
H – Alan, you could have been a gallery artist, but you chose to go into illustration instead. Your art is almost always linked to stories: to text by authors like Rosemary Sutcliff or J.R.R. Tolkien, or to Greek, Celtic, and Arthurian myth. When you're not illustrating a particular text, do you still view your individual pictures as telling a story? You talked about capturing the essence of a landscape. Does this 'essence' always tell a story?
Friday, 21 October 2011
H - Hello, Alan! Thank you for joining us today.
H – I would imagine that drawing and observing something in such close detail could be experienced as a form of meditation.
Come back next Friday for part 2 of this 'around the table' chat.
Friday, 14 October 2011
Next week, finally, as we've been promising: ’Around the Table with...Alan Lee’!