Shivabel is a 22 year old model, artist and performer from Switzerland.
A rennasance model, she also runs the musical project Rosae Rubae et Aureae Crucis. This project mixes esoteric themes, psychedelic-ambient and neoclassic industrial music together with some well-known artists of the Italian “Brown & Gray Area”.
She has cooperated with her voice, her styling and by acting on videos by other artists from the industrial and Witch-Magick musical scenes including in “Satanismo Calibro 9” and “Mater Suspiria Vision” and acted and performed in the related project, which has an upcoming DVD by filmmaker Cosmotropia De Xam called “Allucinazione!”
Her approach with photography is quite similar.
The photographers usually put forth their technical skills and their sensitivity in catching the Spirit that permeates the project in which Shivabel’s contribution includes her studied and researched theme, where she has chosen the symbols and the whole of the styling, even down to the details of having manufactured her own dresses and accessories.
In other cases she collaborates with some other artists that she might characterize as “lesser” photographers and more visual artists, and as they have a common points of view on themes and aesthetics they co-develop the idea together.
“What I definitely love is the mis-en-scene (and the analysis) of the struggle between unreal, surreal and hyperreal, that rules the human life beyond the conscious level.
I am strongly fascinated by the Sacred, magick, esoteric (I also am a maniac about religious items and objects), and by the artistic aspects of nature. This may sound quite easy: whoever would find amazing a deep wood, or a waterfall, or a crystal sea… and of course I do, too.
But still, I concentrate myself more to those things that most of the people can find disturbing.
I love anatomy, and while loving it, I am particularly fascinated by freaks…
and, by that old and a bit scary medical equipment that looks more like means of torture;
I love entomology, insects are complex creatures;
I love cryptozoology, as these unreal/surreal/hyperreal animals may exist in our fantasy;
but, I guess this strong, powerful fantasy – that actually became a Legend in most of the cases – is even able to create the beasts:
So, they must be somewhere.
I love taxidermy,
love the way a human tries to freeze a body in an eternal undead corpse… in a sort of stillborn being “au contraire”.
There is a lot of hidden Grace in such things, which are usually considered repulsive by the common sense: the same common sense that -at the very beginning of our life, against our will – infects us, limiting us and not allowing us to see that sparkle of holy which is everywhere, also in the poorest and meanest things, driving us further and further from the real Beauty and Truth.”
“Picture 1 – Shot by Frilus, MUA/HS by Camille Neko
This picture was particularly inspired by the aesthetics of my favorite film director, Sergei Parajanov (the hat has a shape that recalls the one of a typical Armenian hat) and magick/esoteric symbology mostly recurring in the Golden Dawn. The intent was to portray myself as a sort of (liturgic) priestess.
The hat was manufactured by me, using felt for the whole shaping of the hat and covering it with feathers from an unknown but most beautiful bird. The black furry parts are made by feathers too. I then put a doll’s eye in the center and decorated with Swarovskies all around, shaping a triangle around the eye, which transforms the doll’s eye into the eye of God – or Horus… as you prefer.
Picture 2 – Shot by Frilus, MUA/HS by Camille Neko
It was quite hard to find the thing I finally used in this picture to create the halo behind me… but flea markets definitely are a good resource if you keep on trying. The sacred heart (an ex-voto) I am wearing is an original piece from the early 1900s.
Picture 3 – Shot by Marc Blackie
Photographer Marc Blackie is an amazing artist from London. We have quite a lot of common tastes, and shooting with him was really easy and natural as we had a great feeling. He also portrays some stronger/darker/more fetish images, but we had talked about it before and we had an idea about how I’d have looked in the shooting. I am totally into dolls, meaning it with the intent that Hans Bellmer (and the artists inspired by him later, mainly Japanese dolls creators), where the doll is not intended at all as some tender baby’s toy, but more as the dramatic obsession of a damned man.
So, the location – and my appearance, from a symbolic point of view – immediately recalled me a disturbing but fascinating story happened some years ago in the hidden cellar of Austrian psycho Wolfgang Priklopil. And, this is intended to be a nice homage to Miss Natascha Kampusch.
Picture 4 – Shot by Deepboy, Special Effect MUA by Kyra
The obsession with the dolls is quite visible in this photo too. A good thing about dolls is that even if they break, or if they get burned, they won’t lose their grace at all. This is another good reason to prefer a doll you can juxtapose the way you prefer rather than a girl.
No special effect here was made on post production. It wasn’t so easy as it may look, honestly.
Picture 5 – Selfshot
‘Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.’ This says the Gospel according Matthew (7:6). Of course these are absolutely wise and true words.
But still, not all the swines are the same.
This is a selfshot. Excepting myself and the great armchair (… and the swine, of course…), all the rest of the scenario was blank. I did the best ever possible with my postproduction skills.
Picture 6 – Shot by Aiko, MUA by Ezme Thomas
I had this awesome orthopedic neck brace, which really looked like a Victorian accessory if you’d watch it from a different point of view.
I absolutely wanted to distance myself from the so-called “medical”, a theme that has been developed in a great way by some photographers and visual artists I love (such as Romain Slocombe, Trevor Brown, and many others) but that eventually became tedious and trite, used and abused in both fashion and “alternative” (I hate even the term…) photography.
So I decided to “detourn” – as situationists would say – the object, revealing its elegant and glamourous side.
Turning the gray parts into golden, and studding the rest with crystals was the solution.
Beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder, but also a matter of details that must be emphasized.
Picture 7 – Shot by Bradford Bird
A liturgic vision of myself. I actually saw myself like this while in a sort of trance one day… I was lucky enough to find a photographer with great skills, and a perfect background for the setting.
Same goes for the baby-doll I made, and those piglet-pink latex gloves.
I was also very lucky to find these four cute pets. Technically, they are Madagascar hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhina Portentosa). Harmless and really wonderful animals.
(No animal was harmed in the making of this shooting … )
After I did this pic, I watched the movie “Wonderwall”, a psychedelic trip made in England in the late sixties, with George Harrison’s great OST.
It’s quite interesting to see how much this image, its colours and all, recalls the aesthetics of that movie, which – I repeat – I saw after shooting the pic.
Not to mention the Fab Four beetles.”
To view more of Shivabel’s work, click here.
Images © Shivabel and or Photographers et al.
For a listing of Models Profiled on GlamourPhotography.co, click here.
For a listing of Models Profiled on GlamourPhotography.co, click here.