Ruth Ewan, Magic Words (Ian, Margaret, Peggy), 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.
Ruth Ewan revisits her Sympathetic Magick (2018) project, where she invited magicians to consider how they might use their magic to change the world; with an online presentation of her short film, Worker’s Song Storydeck (devised with magician Billy Reid), and a special poster series Magic Words (Ian, Margaret, Peggy) devised with magician Ian Saville, calling upon all of us to join together in a ‘mass action for the radical transformation of society’.
Ewan's posters can be found at poster sites across the city, including: Meadowbank; Royal Mile; Murrayfield Stadium; Potterow and Easter Road.
The background image of these posters show a detail of a toy diorama made by JC Clark around 1825 from the collection of Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood. The overlaid text on this version of the artwork is an edited version of magician Ian Saville’s spell as featured in Sympathetic Magick in 2018. One version is hand written by Ian, one by my mum and one by my 7 year old daughter.
A long adopted symbol of hope and sexual liberation, who would’ve foretold rainbows would become so abundant in 2020? During our lockdown ‘daily exercise’, our kids would shout out as they spotted them around our community, each one a reassuring hand crafted signal to pedestrian passers by.
I once interviewed an extraordinary woman at the side of her hospital bed in Mile End Hospital, east London. Her eyesight was poor and she pulled me in very closely to listen to her story. She told me she was one of the first women to give birth under the newly formed NHS of 1948. When she arrived home from hospital with her new baby, a letter was waiting for her, saying her previous maternity charges had been written off. She cried with joy. She was still struggling with debt from having had a stillborn baby the year before.
It is said we are all products of the times we live through. Could these dark days give way to a new transformation of society within our lifetimes? Ruth Ewan
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