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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Halloween 2011: a Ghoulish Celebration of the Dead in Illustration

Halloween. Celebration of the dead, autumnal right of passage, fancy dress party time and an excuse for mass consumption of tat. All this inspired a lovely set of illustrations...

Written by Amelia Gregory

Halloween by Karolina Burdon
Halloween by Karolina Burdon.

And so Halloween rolls around again! I’ve loved Halloween since I was a pre-teen, when I hosted annual parties for my schoolmates where I always dressed as a witch. We had apple bobbing and ‘guess the body part’ style games. (peeled grapes, cold spaghetti, jelly mashed up, etc…) Ever since then I have taken many an opportunity to dress up as a ghoul or a monster – especially during ‘night games’ hosted on Forest School Camps for children. I don’t know why, but I really relish spooking people out in the dark.

Halloween by Emmeline Pidgen
Halloween by Emmeline Pidgen.

More recently a few Amelia’s Magazine parties have conveniently coincided with this time of year – my second issue was memorably launched in the ancient disco room behind the George Tavern on Commercial Road, now boarded up. And a few years ago I went out on the town with a group of my interns – all of us sporting fake blood and fangs.

All Hallows Eve by Devin McGrath
All Hallows Eve by Devin McGrath.

I’ve just come back from Poland where the Americanised version of Halloween has yet to make a serious dent on traditions. All Saints’ Day on 1st November is a national holiday and families take the time to remember much loved relatives by placing flowers and candles on their graves. It’s a tradition I think we could do more of in the UK since we no longer seem to have much space to honour those we have lost. Instead Halloween (which has come from a combination of remembering our dead and a celebration of autumn) is merely a garish commercial opportunity. When I was little I had to make all of my own Halloween outfits and decorations, but in the past ten years I have noticed a huge increase in the amount of Halloween tat (and branded food) for sale come late October.

Halloween by Ada Jusic
Halloween by Ada Jusic.

Don’t get me wrong though, I still love Halloween even if I no longer have time to properly enjoy it myself. And I am going to make damned sure my child has the opportunity to dress up, play games and scare themselves and others senseless too. In the meantime, feast your eyes on these ghoulish illustrations.

Halloween Pumpkin by Jacqueline Valencia
Halloween Pumpkin by Jacqueline Valencia.

Sugar Skull by Jacqueline Valencia
Sugar Skull by Jacqueline Valencia.

Bacall SugarSkull Halloween by SarahJayneDraws
Brooks SugarSkull Halloween SarahJayneDraws
garbo by Sarah Jayne morris
Halloween Sugar Skulls by Sarah Jayne Draws aka Sarah Jayne Morris.

Halloween by Estelle Morris
Halloween by Estelle Morris.

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2 Responses to “Halloween 2011: a Ghoulish Celebration of the Dead in Illustration”

  1. Sarah Green says:

    The second one down is gorgeous!

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