Earlier this week, we spoke to artist and historian, Charles Fletcher about his new mural for MADE.
My mural asks: ‘which one were you, of the hundreds of Haddington residents known to have been accused of witchcraft?’
Haddington has an unfortunate place in Scottish history as one of the main centres of witch-hunting. My artwork draws on this past.
My mural requires people to think about the residents of Haddington accused of witchcraft in 16th and 17th centuries. At least 14 were found guilty and put to death. They were ordinary people like you and I, the only difference being we are fortunate to live in the 21st century.
North Berwick Witch Trials
The mural is based on a woodcut produced for James Carmichael’s Newes from Scotland in 1592. The woodcut depicts scenes from the infamous North Berwick witch trials which accused many people from across East Lothian.
To challenge stereotypes associated with witches, I’ve chosen to take one group of ‘witches’ from the woodcut and update it to include modern-day Haddington-residents. My mural includes Fiona, Emily, and Isabella from MADE, along with local East Coast FM presenter John. Maybe you’ll recognise them!
After lots of experimentation with the design, I stayed as true as possible to the original print and opted to paint in black and white only. I hope to strike a balance between these serious historic events and something more contemporary.