EDIT: this book has now SOLD OUT, thank you to everyone who bought one over the last nine years - feels like the end of an era.
I have five copies of Aberrant Necropolis left and should you like to you can buy it here
It inclueds my first 2 years of fashion images. I was an intense character back then, channelling whatever it was I was feeling (I believe I am still doing this) but it came from the earth so much clearly in those couple of years. I still struggle to realises how I made so many thousand images in the darkroom between those years, but I did, and it did eventually take its toll.
At my book launch I didn’t have any official photos taken; it was at The Last Tuesday Society, but I found a couple of photos others had taken of me, tagged on facebook at that event. This is all I could find (I have no idea who took them, but I'm the brunette).
(The girls are the voices behind what was then an ethereal magazine named Balled Of. Lindsey and Claire - They were very sweet as I recall and extremely supportive.)
I was putting together this book as I was moving up north to recover from a great loss. I think there may be a great deal of healing/transcendence in the pages as a result.
Warren Ellis was a dear friend and mentor back then and knew more about me and what I was to become than I did myself. He’s always had the ability to see into the future and he wrote for me a forward that in many ways went on to define me, naming things I was channelling that I had no real idea of.
I hadn’t published online any of the forward itself so I shall post it here below.
If you do want a copy, I suggest now is the time before they become some lost over priced artefact found on eBay or amazon.
Some people suggest the best way to photograph a ghost is to shoot into a mirror.
Hauntedness. That’s the word I first associated with Ellen’s photography. Whether she realises it or not, her work seems to be suffused with ghosts, history and the stain of the occult.
One of the earliest British films is called Photographing a Ghost. It’s by George Albert Smith, whom some credit with inventing the close up, and St Ann’s Well Pleasure Gardens, which he leased and worked at, as the birthplace of film editing. St Ann’s Well, at one end of a ley line, was long believed to spring from the tears of a woman mourning a dead lover.
Gardens and open settings feature often in Ellen’s images. Drifting figures seemingly captured preparatory to some sky ritual or midnight mass. Women overcome by the laudanum languor of a decadent life, drinking in the electromagnetic fields of sacred sites. Perhaps bit players in an Aleister Crowley performance. Seen smokily through time and space, reaching some alternate Biba moment, or a private film made in a world where Kenneth Grant could make a scene like Kenneth Anger, art direction by Austin Osman Spare… A grown-up little girl sleeping in lilies, awaiting the return of the Cottingley Fairies.
The application of electromagnetic fields to the human temporal lobe creates the feeling of the “ethereal presence in the room.” A haunting. Swedish “double-blind” experiments have suggested that the effect only happens when the subject knows they are being exposed to the process.
An English hauntedness. Here at the top of the 21st Century, a certain section of the culture is fascinated by what has been termed hauntology, electronic musics of hauntedness. The dusty crackle on Burial tracks, the sound and voices heard behind walls, or even miles away, the ghosts of a rave Burial never got to attend. The ‘Confusing English Electronic Music” of Moon Wiring Club, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop seances of The Advisory Circle, Pye Corner Audio and Belbury Poly that take place inside children’s tv shows and public information films of the 1970s. Being present both here and there (which is probably the very definition of a ghost). And, perhaps most apposite, Broadcast and the Focus Group’s Investigate Witch Cults of The Radio Age, which combines historicity and ahistorical dislocation with a strange sensuality and crooked, timeloose chic.
That’s where Ellen Rogers’ photography is.
I suspect that, in seeking to prepare you for what comes next, I’m doing a poor job of describing it. But sometimes it’s better simply to try to evoke – or possibly invoke – than simply lay down a dull set of answers. This is the new hauntology, the misty edge of a long tradition of strange English ghost photography. It is very beautiful, and filled with stories untold and feelings unnamed.
I envy those of you who are about to be exposed to the process for the first time.
Under several feet of snow