Nothing says Halloween like a proper, twisted, green-skinned hag. The classic, pop-media witch, popularised in the Wizard of Oz, has been a seasonal staple for generations. I decided to create, not one but two, gnarly Halloween witches and set them in a magnificent magical garden setting. My portrait lens doesn’t take in a lot of the background but, still, it’s nice to have it there.
I got together with my wife, Claire, and our buddy Emma, to stage this shoot. We even gave the witches’ names: Arachne Gladestalker, the noisy wicked wench, who casts the most terrible spells, and Cordelia Catwhisker, the quiet one, who sets child traps in the woods.
The girls got hold of amazing costumes and I sculpted a couple of witch faces and cast them in latex. Arachne had the classic pointy nose and chin, but I also gave her a missing eye; scratched out by an angry cat. Cordelia was a more demonic character, with two different eyes; one to see with and one to see through things with.
By chance, we ended up doing the shoot on a hot sunny day, which meant the witches were sweating under their latex ugliness. The face pieces were glued on tight, so couldn’t be removed until the shoot was done. But it’s all part of the fun … other people have to suffer for my art. It was good to do something a bit different that didn’t involve buckets of blood and gore.