A Halloween epic combining the supernatural with local lore - Soho Farm House, Oxfordshire, October 2015
Dreaming Together: A Communal Vision Quest, Soho Farm House, October 2015
For Soho Farmhouse Bompas & Parr hosted a Halloween epic combining the supernatural with the dark wilderness of our subconscious. Frenzied celebrations channelled dark superstitions, dream manipulation, sacrificial rituals and mind-altering brews, told through the visual medium of cult horror against the folklore and cultural history of its Oxfordshire locale.
Members were led on a pilgrimage of arcane rituals, physical rites and creative pursuits. Daytime activities took place across the farm, from garland-making using plants from the local hedgerows, to megalith-carving with Highgate Cemetery's head stonemason, a gut feelings and egg healing lecture featuring a ceremonial snake, a lucid dreaming workshop teaching the techniques used to control your subconscious state, and skull-cup making class that provided guests with gilded vessels for their evening libations.
Evening celebrations took the form of a communal feast – including whole roast goat and apple-stuffed pig heads, bush-meat stew and pig hearts fricasseed in the fire – followed by a ritualised ceilidh. Here guests were initiated with blood shots from a skull chalice, guided by fire to drink Blue Lotus tea and enter a dream-like state, all to the tune of Dom James and his Oxfordshire Urges, dancing wildly in rag coats with savage horns and performing Cromwellian house, a contemporary take on 17th century dance music complete with a hurdy gurdy.
Guests came dressed in pagan high fashion influenced by styles from the English Civil War and ‘70s folk horror. Installations included the Heart of Darkness, channelling Ancient Druid sacrifice and blood-letting rituals, featuring a beating cow’s heart, animated by diaphragm pump technology. Throw in self-flagellation, cocktails served from horseback, a psychic medium holding court from a golden bath of milk and a Grand Master of Ceremonies who rode a studded electric wheelchair, and you get the full measure of the night.
Photography by Carrie Louise Photography.
Poster Artwork by Tom Sewell.