My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.
Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Saturday, 25 August 2012
|Out in the sunshine with a camera and a corset.|
Photograph by Suzy_Bugs
|I didn't have to digitally straighten this one!|
|Dramatic skies ahoy!|
The front of the building is designed to maximise grandeur, with the church recessed from street level and connected to the equally ornate ecclesiastical buildings either side with angled walls that create a bit of false perspective and also draw the visitor in towards the church door. It does not appear, in terms of size, to compete with the Protestant churches of various denominations on the opposite side (Free Church, Church of Scotland, etc.) although I do not know how far back it goes, and it does not posses a tall and imposing steeple. It does, however, manage to cram as much ornament as physically possible into a relatively compact space. It is a Victorian Gothic Revival building in a city full of Victorian Gothic Revival buildings, and I do wonder if the architects involved got a bit competitive.
|Fleur de Lis design.|
|The cement render behind the gate is in pretty ruin.|
I want some of my pictures to have a sense of narrative, a sense that they are part of a story. I like taking pictures that have doorways, paths, arches, passageways - things that give a sense of how the building is something that can be walked through, not just detail on a flat plane, and also I want there to be a bit of mystery. I'd like people to wonder, as I do, what lies behind the gates, around the columns and down the passageways. Whenever I played games like Tomb Raider or Assassin's Creed or Prince of Persia, it was always exploring the nooks, clambering on buildings and generally being curious that intrigued me, more so sometimes than finishing the level! I have this sort of attitude towards real life, except with the limitation that there are places I am not allowed to go and apparently clambering on the buildings is frowned upon (not that this stopped me at boarding school...).
|I have a feeling this is part of another church.|
Sometimes it's just the shapes, the patterns, the textures, things less directly 'building' that catch my eye. Hopefully, as my legs (especially that ankle!) recover, I shall be out and about taking more pictures. Maybe there will even be variety as I find something other than buildings and monuments to photograph. Either that or I will eventually produce a comprehensive guide to twiddly buildings in the Highlands. I am hoping to get some castle photos taken; Cawdor Castle, Inverness Castle, Brodie Castle, etc. etc. Lots of castles around here, including the fabulous Eilean Donan Castle (my correspondents will recognise that one from the multitude of postcards I send), so it that sort of project could keep me occupied for a while.
Friday, 24 August 2012
|Photograph by Raven, Editing by the HouseCat|
Maybe I've always had a broadly Romantic attitude, but one that was not really cultivated into anything productive until I started reading about the philosophy and literature of that time period. I started finding that I agreed with a lot of it and that the rest of it was taking me down new and exciting avenues. Some of these ideas became building blocks of my personal philosophy (which constantly evolves) and some of them fell by the wayside, but my way of thinking and my creativity were far more influenced by things that happened over 150, even 200 years ago than by what happened in the 1980's. My head was full of Clare, Keats, Wordsworth, of Beethoven, Paganini, Weber, Liszt, Chopin, etc. long before it was full of Ian Curtis, Siouxsie Sioux, Robert Smith, Andrew Eldrtich, Patricia Morrison and Dave Vanian. Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, etc. were my transition between the two, with a large dash of Arthurian poetry and art, Pre-Raphaelites and Tolkien.
|Photograph by Raven, Editing by the HouseCat|
Romanticism informs far more of my world-view than Punk thinking - even my tendency towards anarchism is rooted more in centuries-old political philosophies than 1970s political philosophies. My search for experience is core to my way of life, to the point where I think the purpose of life is to experience as much and as richly as possible. A lot of my art is based on direct inspiration from nature; I see strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, with a decidedly Gothic emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, including the feelings that come around contemplating the inevitability of our own demise and decay. Awe, to me, is the emotion upon which I build inspiration, especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublime glory of untamed nature - the awe experienced while looking into the raging storm, or at wild currents of a river's rapids - and I'd go storm-chasing at white-water rafting if I could. On one hand I embrace medievalism, Gothic revival architecture and Arthurian myth, and on the other I look to the exotic (relative to my culture), to Japanese culture and ancient ruins. I empathise with William Blake as he talks of 'dark Satanic mills" in reference to early industrialisation, and see it continue in the smoke-stacks of coal fired-power stations, and in the seemingly unstoppable increase of materialistic consumer culture and all the factories thousands of miles away that feed it.
|Photograph by Raven, Editing by the HouseCat|
In feeling like an alien amongst mainstream society I went looking for philosophies I did agree with - somewhere other people had to see things the way I did, and it did not seem that I was mad - and unfortunately found them to be an anachronism in relation to modern life, but then, as I read and experienced more about the various counter-cultures and subcultures from Arts & Crafts and Pre-Raphaelite era women in 'artistic dress' through Hippies and Punks to Goths -especially Goths- I saw the ideological tendrils that began with Sturm und Drang and revolutionary France were still bearing fruit. I did not set out to become a latter-day Romantic, albeit one with a fondness for black and the macabre, it just suits my personality down to the ground.
My interests are broader than the Goth subculture, my perspective has not grown out of punk or of rock, but out of philosophy, literature and art, and I'm often a bit of a walking anachronism in more than just my fashion choices. Talking of fashion choices, stylistically I am fascinated by an aesthetic, not a subculture, and will wear things from Visual Kei, Elegant Gothic Aristocrat, Lolita and other Japanese styles as much as I'd wear Goth things, and will also wear vintage things or "hippie" things, or whatever else takes my fancy. I am more interested in anachronistic styles, luxuriously textured fabrics and an almost theatrical appearance than in what particular subculture you could attribute a garment to. My eclectic approach to fashion is not something I disguise, and where possible, I do try to accurately describe my various subcultural influences.
My not-Goth interests predate my interest in the Goth subculture, and have not really wained in interest, only in time to spend on them. I am into the music, the fashion, the broader creative endeavours and the attitude that comprise the Goth subculture, but that only represents a small facet of who I am, and I feel that "Dark Romantic" encompasses a far greater amount of who I am than "Goth". Goth is still part of my identity, I still think the label applies to me, just it does not cover everything.
Thursday, 23 August 2012
|These symbols have different names and variations in meaning.|
Monday, 20 August 2012
|Tugging Raven's jacket off him. My old music corner, April '10|
Photograph by Raven.
Saturday, 11 August 2012
Friday, 10 August 2012
|Eden Court Theatre and Cinema|
|Shown Previously On This Blog. Angular Railings.|
|Eden Court has the most amazing roofs.|
|Light and Reflection.|
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
|The HouseCat out and about.|
I have evil black eyes of demonic doom!
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
I am in foul mood, and a rant is ahead - you have been warned.
The Babybats a person meets at secondary school, or the Mallgoths lurking in the local shopping-centre may be the only Goths and Goth-like people that a lot of people outside the subculture interact with, partly because they are the most numerous as those for whom Goth is a phase will often have it as a teenage phase, and partly because a lot of older Goths tend to keep their subcultural affiliation fairly quiet.
Monday, 6 August 2012
I was supposed to be taking pictures in the cemetery on Friday; I took the bus to the city, arranged to meet up outside the gates with my friend Suzy, got there and found it was locked up. This was not that late in the afternoon, and I'd been looking forwards to getting some nice pictures of the run-down mausoleum at the back (which I have featured before on this blog) with the nice Canon camera (rather than my point-and-shoot Ricoh). I was not hugely amused. I went to the graveyard in Church St. instead but my heart wasn't in it and I didn't take any good photos. In the end Suzy and I took the bus and went to my place.
|This is the meadow by my flat, and the little wood with the burn.|
This really was taken in Scotland, I don't live in Canada or somewhere.
|Enjoying my natural habitat. Photograph by ::Suzy::.|
|Sunsets are pretty, and distracting. Very distracting.|
Photograph by ::Suzy::. Thankyou!!
|I love my little skull earrings. Photo by ::Suzy::.|