STROUD pagans gathered at Hetty Pegler’s Tump (Uley Long Narrow) on one of the darkest days of the year to celebrate the coming of the winter solstice.
The colourful costumes were inspired by the humour and surrealism of pagan ceremony, alongside the importance of ritualistic gatherings, ancient magic and the celebration of midwinter spirits.
The work is part of Mermaid Chunky’s Darkest Night event, taking place this evening (Friday) at Stroud Valley Artspace, on John Street in Stroud.
The costumes were designed and made by Moina Walker, Milligan Beaumont and the art group Mould.
With makeup by Lola Tidy, the costumes were modelled by Ruby Kester, Ella Clifton-Gould, Ismiah Martin, Freya Tate, Lorna Bamsey, Sean Heather, Mila Harris-Mussi, and Alex Merry of Boss Morris.
“Sometimes it can be confusing and maybe even lonely hustling through the darkness of winter,” said Moina Walker.
“That’s why the winter solstice is so amazing and poignant, it gives us all space to step back and see clearly, to be silly amongst all the seriousness, to ground ourselves in the ritual of celebration and to say farewell to the darkness and welcome in the light of spring.”
Uley Long Narrow (Hetty Pegler’s Tump) is a Neolithic burial mound, built 5,500 years ago by farmers to house their dead.
Understanding the solar year would have been vital to the survival of these early farmers.
The winter solstice (Sunday, 22 December) marks the shortest daylight hours of the year and the start of days lengthening toward summer thereafter.
The Darkest Night, is at SVA, John Street, Stroud, this evening (Friday), from 8pm to 2am.
Artist line up: Mermaid Chunky, Pearl Whip-Kill, Boss Morris, Megan Crua, Sean Heather, Milligan Beaumont, Kate Merry, Holly English, Lorraine Robbins, Mair Hughes, Kaoru Blackstone, May Darbyshire, Moina Moin, Freya Tate, Verity Monroe, Rowan Kelly, Ella Clifton-Gould, Ruby Kester, Ismiah Martin, Rochelle Johns, Alexis Bertolli, Coumba Samba, Easy Peelers, Aletta Dina, Katie Vacara, Uta Baldauf, Mould, Isobel Harper, Ben Pearsons, Lucas Evamy, Alix Bortoli and Lorna Bamsey
Early Bird : £6 from SVA, Online £7.20 + booking fee
Standard : £8 from SVA, Online £9.60 + booking fee
Under 25s : £6 from SVA, Online £7.20 + booking fee
On the door £8 / under 25s £6
Photographs by Simon Pizzey: simon-pizzey.squarespace.com/