Rapunzel meets Dr Caligari
The making of a ruined tower
Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari – silent movie 1920
Living as we do in a county of castles there’s plenty to choose from for ideas and inspiration and the one that most instantly comes to mind is Dunstanburgh. A strange place, the siting and purpose of which is still being debated, with archaeological findings around 2004 coming up with some fresh thoughts. (Further, clearer pictures of the castle can be seen on theinfillclicks page as I’ll be posting some more as time allows.) What remains of the castle structures are eye-catching. There are finger thin sections of wall balancing at the edges of age riven towers causing a mental double-take and concern about the operation of gravity.
Recipe and ingredients for brewing my own tower
The resin pencil holder with its Gothic theme seemed ideal for tower building; so with Dunstanburgh’s tottering towers and the staircases to and from nowhere operating as a point of departure, plus just a pinch of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari to season the mood, I rolled up sleeves and donned face mask.
I used dried moss and dried ivy stems with roots as well as a little of the packet lichen in various shades of green and some home dried flower heads and grasses.
There are no floors internally, it’s like a deep well at the bottom of which there is an added light. It’s there to give a little colour for those of us who like to peer down inside.
As I was working on this and having great fun putting together all of the elements, I became uneasy about the general imagery of the thing. Having read too many folk tales when very small along with absorbing all the politically incorrect imagery of a lifetime of general reading, a tower tends to lead towards thoughts of someone locked up in it and it’s odds on that it’ll be a woman. So that is what we’ve got. Hmm. It’s a very powerful image.
On a lighter note, elsewhere in the news, it was fun to make and I feel so much better now I’ve let it all out.
Next ingredient, Ms Lear.
Now there seems to be a definite flavour of Elsa Lanchester creeping in.