Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
In amongst the usual hub-bub and daily bustle of the Modern Vampyre Culture there are an amazing number of the members of our Nightkind who are deeply involved in some form of artistic endeavour, creative individuals in writing, painting, music, handicrafts, movie making, acting and probably many others too. To look at the Vampire culture, on the surface and think about what sort of art there might be, an outsider might be very tempted to think that all we do is produce images of bloodthirsty vampires ravaging salacious young ladies in some creepy dark castle or forest…
NOT SO… and our guest this evening is ‘proof positive’ of that. A remarkably talented, multi-disciplined artist, Lady Kate Gallwey agreed to spend a little time with us and let us peek into “Vampire Art” as it is.
RVL: Good evening Lady Kate, welcome to RVL, we deeply appreciate you taking time out to spend with us.
KG: Hi there, my pleasure.
RVL: It is well known that there are a number of artistic people in the modern Vampire culture, in many diverse fields from literature to film making but we’d like to touch, firstly, upon your involvement with the culture. Do you identify as a modern living Vampire?
KG: I am modern and in a living, breathing human body. Definitions seem to be a battlefield when you hit the ‘v’ word… My own definition is that I was born with a hunger or thirst.
My grandmother, mother and children all seemed marked by the same thing though each with different perspective or ‘hunger’. I see the word ‘vampire’ as an umbrella term that covers ‘being born with a hunger’… it keeps things simple for me.
A hunger for what, is often very personal and selective. So using that definition I am a modern living vampire.
RVL: …and how long have you been involved in the culture and its comings and goings?
KG: It was around 2006 when pregnant with my son that I started looking for online information regarding blood drinking. Like my previous 2 pregnancies I craved blood from a core level, it burnt and clawed at me from within. Just like when I was a slightly wild teenager. I learnt to channel that need but it never really went away. When pregnant the blood need pushed harder than I could deny and no one seemed to be able to help. Eating raw meat did ease the ache but even then it had to be really fresh. I also found the Psychic Vampire Codex online and it that hit me very hard emotionally. I had always thought I was alone in my needs in that area. To put actual terms to what I felt was a huge breakthrough. I started feeding that way as well and achieved a mental and emotional peace I had not felt before.
So about 11 years now.
RVL: Have you participated in many groups, Houses or Organisations in that time?
KG: Yes, I did my time trying to be part of and starting my own vampire organisations. I am fairly inconsistent with the time I want to be around people or online so many just didn’t work out. SAVA, BRAVO, House of the Dreaming were a few I worked hard at trying to belong to…but they didn’t work out.
The VVC doesn’t ask much of me so I am still there, and will continue to work to support the vampire community where I can.
But mostly I spend my time building and supporting the Left Hand Path group the Herald of the Dawn, a growing group of seekers with a variety of occult and ‘darker’ paths of Witchcraft, Shamanism, Enochian & Chaos magic, Qlippoth & Mercurian Magic, and most especially Predatory Vampirism, to summon spirits and strip them down for energy and knowledge is a very useful talent for a vampire.
The Herald of the Dawn Perimeter Facebook group is open for all.
We all are very different and it has been a challenge to work together at times but I feel like I have achieved something good and solid there. My Facebook groups Nightkind is a bridge between the GVC and the LHP, for all that have an interest in such things.
We have just started up the Nightkind Dark Moon Newsletter with the second edition out on the 24th June.
The other one is Sex & Blood Magic which says it all really.
RVL: …and how do you define, personally, your own nature today?
KG: I am evolving. I am learning new ways to balance myself with different energies. I am still growing much stronger and have a much clearer take on my particular ‘hungers’. I was advised to try local venison and find it stabilised my physical hungers quite nicely when raw. It grounds and centres me which I find I lose without it.
Creative activities feed the core of me and I do not need energy donors as much as I used to. It is a clean wellspring of vitality for me that allows me to grow into much more than I was.
RVL: Has your involvement with the modern culture fed your artistic inspirations?
KG: I think the darkness is where all passions are nurtured. The Vampire culture is not afraid to delve deep into the Abyss, both within and without. I learnt that from the online vampire community, I learnt to look at myself without flinching from the rage and needs within.
I am not afraid of much anymore but when I face a blank piece to be painted or written on, I face that common fear of not being worthy, good enough etc. The vampire in me rises up to rip that fear to shreds with a glee.
I would not be an artist today without my years spent going deep into my hungers that the vampire community showed that was within me.
RVL: Tell us, Lady Kate, what is, or are, your artistic inclinations?
KG: I am creative. I started with writing books. Autobiography of a Goddess is a science fantasy novel about a being called Lillith, I wrote this long ago when my children were small and self-published it on Amazon about 4 years ago now.
Introduction to the Hidden Worlds followed…
….and then the Being A Psychic Vampire, which was my attempt to give back to the community what I had learnt from it.
The creative drive to publish has waned a little and The Vampiric Witch is just about finished but I lack the momentum right now. I want to write an Eros Vampire book on sex and blood feeding and have started drawing together information on that subject. But the main love right now is paint… I love colour and shape. I paint furniture mostly as it is cheap to locate.
I have created online websites for it but selling it is a slow business. Catching Dragons is my shop name and it can be found in many places right now.
I have just got a welding machine and will be starting metal sculptures and fire pits soon. I also got gifted a wood carving course the other weekend and will be looking into doing more of that.
To create is the goal… the means are almost irrelevant. Words, images, shapes and textures all create an impact on the viewer. That impact is palatable for me and becomes a food source. But the actual creative well is what I seek… it connects me up to a food source far greater than I have ever found in the past.
RVL: …and where do you draw your inspirations from?
KG: What impacts me? I am an every changing, inconsistent being that flows from state to state without much provocation. I have learnt to ‘ride the waves’ and allow the fires to burn when I have to. Inspiration grows the more you feed it. After a lifetime of hunger I am sharp and focused on my prey.
RVL: Where can our readers view your work and do you have an outlet for retail?
KG: My Facebook Page is Catching Dragons
My blog Kate’s Creations has been going for many years….I write when the feeling demands it.
Catching Dragons Art Shop is fairly new.
I am not a good salesman. I find the whole process of jumping up and down shouting, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” immodest and soul killing… It has prevented me from creating in the past and I will not let it do that again. I will do the selling part, slowly and with intuitive feeling….if it feels wrong I will not do it.
I am looking for someone who has a passion for selling art… and will throw myself at their feet with joy if they can take the whole side of selling out of my hands and just pay me a generous fee for each piece sold. I think I am looking for a mythical creature here though.
RVL: I suppose, being a published writer myself that much of your work would reflect past experiences is this true for you?
KG: I used to dream much more when I was younger without an outlet for those dreams. I had to learn control myself tightly, above all, for what I was and am was not appropriate for the society I was born into. I maybe flighty but once I focus on something I see it through to the end with a lot of bloody-minded stubbornness. I have teenage daughters… they are very much the same.
My past may have shaped me but I have shed many skins to be the person I am now… and I hope to shed many more in the future. To be still and fixed is stagnation for me… I need change and experience to grow.
RVL: Do you have a favourite piece, or pieces of work amongst what you have done so far?
RVL: What advice would you give to any budding artists looking to get their own work ‘out there’?
KG: Not my words, but highly appropriate. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway!’ Creating scares me to immobilization sometimes… but it is worth it every time.
RVL: Do you consciously confine yourself to one or two art forms at a time or do you like to explore and create as the whim takes you?
KG: I have several things I work on at once. Writing and painting right now….metal work and wood carving coming soon.
I find I work best that way…and I get more done.
RVL: Do you find, or think, there is a large niche within the modern Vampire culture for the expression and appreciation of art such as you produce or, do you think too much has gone the way of “instant gratification” to the point where many are losing the ability or desire to really appreciate physical art pieces?
KG: I need to feed off multiple sources. I have fought against this knowledge most of my life. I don’t like needing blood weekly or sexual energy. I denied it for years and only existed at a half-life. It cost me, I will not go back there and have had to learn to accept my nature fully and without judgment.
I like creating it is a passion and a very wholesome food source.
I need to find a way to earn a living with it… but after that, I don’t actually care about how it is received. I wrote my books and self-published them for me. I paint for me….there is a very distinct selfish aspect here that I will not apologize for.
RVL: …and speaking of the modern Vampire culture, do you keep in touch with current events as much as you used to or have you found yourself more content staying on the periphery?
KG: A few years ago I got fed up with most of the modern vampire culture and retreated to other greener pastures. The vampire community cycle is very repetitive and there is very little new stuff to be learnt. The politics are also cylindrical, often very shallow and just mean.
I hate unkindness and there is very little compassion and empathy found in today’s modern vampire culture. So I refuse to be part of anything that is destructive in any way … tearing someone apart and ripping their identity to shreds is not something I can tolerate, then or now.
I hold my own spaces within the GVC for learning and networking, I am not American and there is no Real Vampire organisation here in the UK. Unity is not going to happen between vampires any day soon, it is not in our natures.
I do not play politics but will support my friends when I can. I am very loyal to those that have supported me in the past… there are not many of them but to me they are family.
RVL: So, if we had a $64,000 question to add in it would probably be along the lines of, “What is your opinion of the current trends in, and state of, the Vampire culture?
KG: Silly children playing dress up games for the most of it… *laughs*.
A nasty Christian vampire hunter on one side and a slick marketing promoter on the other. The center has faded into the shadows of time and there is a very dull empty feel to many of the older groups.
With many aimless groups filled with pictures of blood smeared maidens, graveyards and sexy gothic vampire chicks it is not really my ‘cup of tea’, so I will give that a miss. For a newcomer these days there is not much to be found easily. This also will shift and change again… benefits of circles… what comes around, goes around.
Seeds that have been sprouting show me that the next cycle of rebirth is beginning. The wheel is ever turning and Creative Vampire Networks are pushing through the dirt once again.
RVL: Have you any wise words for modern Vampires dear lady?
KG: Blood seekers need to be very careful from who and where they get their information from. I have been appalled at some of the things being suggested recently for those that need blood.
Though they don’t like us modern vampires very much and given most of us a hard time for even existing, I believe for clear, direct medical and hygienic information the Red Cellar and the ‘medical sangs’ are a good place to go.
Smoke & Mirrors forum covers pretty much everything these days and also a very good place to visit. The Facebook group is friendly and safe and can direct you to all sorts of specialised information that has been tried and tested for over 20 years. The nice thing is they are still researching and growing. They don’t have all the answers and don’t claim to do so.
But the thing about most vampires is that they always know best… *laughs* Trying to tell them anything is an exercise in futility.
Just knowing that they are not alone is often enough.
A modern living Vampyre, a member of the Vampire culture with a down-to-earth and pragmatic view of that, an amazing artist in her own right. It has been a great honour for us to spend this time with Lady Kate Gallwey… naturally, we wish her every success in her artistic endeavours and we hope that someone might be willing to step forward and form a business relationship with her so that her art might find its way out into the world where it belongs and where it will bring comfort and happiness to others – as the lady said,
“To create is the goal… the means are almost irrelevant. Words, images, shapes and textures all create an impact on the viewer.”
Copyright RVL and Kate Gallwey 2017 (except where noted)
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