Tag Archives: the crafty beggars

the Skeklers

I was recently put in touch with one Rachel Frost of @thecraftybeggars She is a maker of all things fine and crafted, primarily hats, often for the world of historic re-enactment. She also likes to work on some rather more adventurous fine art projects and we thought we could both work on a project.

This eventually culminated in a shoot of some wonderful Skekler outfits she had created for a workshop she was running in Edinburgh. There’s not much known about the Skeklers or ‘straw men’ but it’s thought to derive from a tradition based in Shetland during Halloween and other celebration periods. There’s a great piece on them in a Document Scotland page that gives a bit more background and showcases a project initiated by Glasgow photographer Gemma Ovens.

Myself and Rachel took her outfits to Yellowcraigs beach as it was a suitable canvas to show something as otherworldly as the Skeklers outfits. My artist friend Hazel Terry and Rachels friend and dancer Sara were up for playing the part.

As well as a grand day with them both I later went with my wife Krista to a darker forest where we created a rather more sinister version around burnt trees. While there a man passed with a Harris Hawk sitting on his arm, it fitted the moment perfectly.

Skeklers in a dark wood
Krista on Skeklers duty in the burnt forest.
Skeklers with a fiddle
Hazel and Sara at Yellowcraigs
two women dressed as Skeklers
Roaming the dunes
Hazel goes full feral