Sorry not to have tweeted much (i.e. at all) on the second day of Open Graves, Open Minds, the Bram Stoker Centenary Symposium held at Keat’s House – it was a busy day, which kicked off with a tour of the house and then moved on to the sessions proper, starting with a double act from your humble blogger and my friend Kevin Jackson.
I did a 45 minute slot on the folklore of the vampire, and how it differs from the vampire we have come to know from fiction and films. In this I was aided by my friend Thomas over at That Elusive Line, who drew me the handsome vampire you see here.
Then Kevin spoke about various vampirical things, and showed his 10 minute vampire film, Pavane for a Vampire Queen. Take a look if you haven’t seen it – it’s beautiful 🙂 And for the eagle-eyed features a cameo by, well, me.
The whole day was a great success, I thought, but the highlight for me was the closing talk, by Sir Christopher Frayling, a man whose books and TV programmes I have admired since I was young. He spoke about pictorial representations of the Gothic in art and film, and it was flawless and fascinating. It was based in part on material first considered in his show Gothic Nightmares from 2006 at Tate Britain, still available in the show catalogue. It was a total fan-boy moment for me, as we traded folkloric aspects of the undead.
Then came vampire themed canapés; black pudding on coffin shaped blinis, stakes through steak etc, and we all went home very happy, and much more enlightened about vampires in general. I’d like to thank Dr Sam George of the University of Hertfordshire for inviting me, and for organising the weekend.