Lets look at Cervantes’ Shadow and Shack of Ryhope Wood
ElblocDeltoniGuida - You’ve also talked about how the stories you were told growing up ‘fuelled your imagination and had the power to transform floorboard creaks and shadows into enduring ancestral ghosts of the past.’ Could you tell us a bit about how the images in this series came to life from these stories and maybe give us an example of a specific image that was created from these memories?
Lets look at Cervantes’ Shadow and Shack of Ryhope Wood. Both of these images are inspired by another family legend surrounding Captain Hutchins. One of the storage sheds on the farm had an active beehive inside that was causing quite a stir amongst the families on Gray’s Point (island location of the farm). Several of the families had fishing and sailing equipment in the shed and the hive was causing havoc anytime someone attempted to enter. Several failed attempts had been made to remove the beehive when word of its existence caught the ear of our fearless Captain Hutchins. It is said he took the challenge without hesitation. He covered his head, grabbed a remnant of a sail canvas and a rolled up a Farmer’s Almanac, and then proceeded to enter the shed, close the door behind him, and unleash a Down Eastern beating upon the pesky insects. A memorable composition arose from the shed consisting of thumps, banging, and the loose tongue of a pissed off sailor. Minutes later the old cook with a wooden leg emerged in the doorway with a sly smile and a buzzing canvas tarp. My grandfather claimed he witnessed the entire event.
Now, I have my doubts things happened this way but the story does make you look at strange looking men and sheds in a new way. The average man becomes a hero worthy of adventure and the shed in the woods becomes an inaccessible space that houses unseen threats and magical moments. I think Cervantes’ Shadow and Shack of Ryhope Wood relate a sense of the valiance, mystery, absurdity, and humor all brewing from this family story. (riaucitizen.com)