A new multi-disciplinary work produced by Rachel Newton and Lauren MacColl pays a humanising tribute to those persecuted during the 16th and 17th Century Scottish Witch Trials, while also exploring historical beliefs in the supernatural and modern day parallels in our society.
‘Heal & Harrow’ is based on one of the darkest periods in Scotland’s history – An estimated 2500 people were executed, 80% of which were thought to have been women.
Within the work, each piece is inspired by and in remembrance of real women who were persecuted and tried as witches, and characters from the folkloric tales and mythology enshrined in our oral culture. Each character will be represented by a short story by writer Mairi Kidd, a visual by Elly Lucas, and a musical piece. The album will be released as a high quality cd package with the stories and visuals included. Each story will also be narrated with music underscored by ourselves and released as a podcast in the weeks following the album’s release. The live show seeks to combine all aspects of our project – music, writing and visuals.
“We have been inspired by the brilliant work being done to raise awareness of the Scottish Witch Trials, such as the Witches of Scotland podcast and their campaign for a legal pardon, an apology and national monument for those convicted of witchcraft and executed in Scotland. Campaigns such as this have highlighted this issue to the general public and we feel it’s the ideal time to offer an artistic response.”
Read more here in The Scotsman article from January 2021 which has had a huge volume of traffic to it’s site.