Jim Carter 'Scraps From The Crow Cult'

Fully illustrated catalogue to accompany the solo exhibition 'Scraps From The Crow Cult' by Jim Carter at Anima Mundi, St Ives.

Fully illustrated catalogue to accompany the solo exhibition 'Scraps From The Crow Cult' by Jim Carter at Anima Mundi, St Ives.


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The Grass are Green, The Flowers is Brown and Crimson

Jim Carter Scraps From The Crow Cult

“Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” - Jalaluddin Rumi

Often uneasy or tragic, irrational or other, Jim Carter’s work is linked to a real

world of suffering and transcendence: making sculpture from organic materials

as a means of advocacy, atonement or commemoration; shifting to story and the

written word as a way to enter emotional and numinous spaces of memory and dream.

What appears on the surface to be a wilful disturbance of the remains of organic

life in order to fulfil a creative compulsion is intended to be part of a transforming

and re-sanctifying process. Taken materials are reconfigured into new forms to

express complex feelings of grief and loss, love and devotion, fertility and renewal.

Fundamental in this work is a conviction in an irrepressible spirit for regeneration in

the world, an imperishable flame that rises most clearly in landscape and the magic

and otherness of animals.


Scraps From The Crow Cult

“These scraps of a crow cult - constellations of animal life that brighten as I age

- speak of a prolonged leave-taking that shines still, in criss-crossing rays, with

invitation for renewal. The old god steals away through cattle droves and the

cuckoo’s flight to the furthest roots, and it feels urgent to ensure that his is a good

death, not wrongful or precipitate.

Granted, though I would that he rebelled by way of these sun spells drummed into

wood to summer’s end, I am less subtle. I wish for a corrective injury: that rock and

bone - the ritual tools that bind each spirit to the work - would extinguish and repel.

For I scratched the boundary lines through heath and pool, the scarlet and green

of a willow country. There, the cumulative rites, which are the cuts and wounds of

a sacrificial animal, met the miscreants with violence, trespassers with occlusion.

I am brittle and would be a churl but my counter rhythm is here softer - one of

weight, measurement, enumeration: to thrum benign weathers, set safe limits for

suns and rivers, the crooked acre. These last I think of as each a magic square with

charms to cloud the whereabouts of rare fires, of vixen and sow. Underneath, the

kings and queens are listening in the earth and water, counting the voices of the

crows and their number, the summer litters, yields of crab apple and sloe.

First among green tongues, I watch blackthorns withdraw each year in flares of pink

and rose, and by the fronds of their December days run the god to dream in holding

pattern. Mine are a kind of intercessory prayer, an oppositive magic, but they are,

too, prospective and fruitful. They travel on winds that are so strong that the crows

give up all thought of straight lines, and are blown from the trees as if from the limits

of a containing fire, yellow as the round of the blackbird’s eye.

In the spring, the blossoms will be sticky on the mother’s tongue, and her shires

will tremble and shake in acts of quiet resistance. With warm breath she will spread

nectar of flame through soft bodies of flowers and birds to reach cloud kingdoms.

Magpies will gather in the highest branches, and their patterns of flight will not

always be of ill omen, but stir instead apostasy in those who hum and haw. I will

be augur and gesture so that foxes at least will pass into the haze of a golden night,

barking the faithful return. Perhaps, after all, they will dress the buds with signs

and wonders. Their god turns over in his sleep, and shadows leak from his body of

comets to beguile all comers.”

Jim Carter, October 2023


This small singing


I hum the small, bright, filthy song

fox claw, moor and river water, earth, clay, ashes, bone dust, bone black, sheep and hare bone, wood, horse

hair; fox, sheep and hare scratches and cuts; crow remains, field and river debris, cow and rook marks

H20 x W14 x D10 cm




I thrum for a good death at summer’s end

tawny owl talon and bone, wood, clay, moor and river water, crow remains, ashes, rust, bluebells, bracken,

horse hair, hare fur and jaw bone; hare, fox and sheep scratches and cuts, cow and rook marks

H29 x W13 x D12 cm



I heard a hundred magpies gather in the haw



wood, fox and badger claws, hare skull, sycamore seeds, leaves, clay, sheep remains; moor, sea and river

water; earth, hare fur, dolmen soil, crow and hare bone, hare atlas; fox, sheep and hare scratches and cuts;

magpie feathers, cow and rook marks

H29 x W13 x D12 cm



River choked on the shire’s haunches


gorse flowers, soil, wood, river water and debris, well and moor water, dolmen earth, clay, ashes, bone dust,

bone black; hare, sheep, owl and deer bone; owl and sparrowhawk pellets, mulch, cinders, sand; sheep, fox

and hare scratches and cuts; sycamore seeds, cow and rook marks

H34 x W40 x D16 cm



Autumn is coming, hares are leaping bonfires on the heath


wood, clay, ashes, bone black, hare bone, river water, dolmen soil, fox and sheep cuts, cow and rook marks

H122 x W6 x D5 cm



We burnt our hands in summer fires to change the future


wood, clay, ashes, bone black, sheep ribs, moor and river water, earth, wax, bracken, dolmen soil, fox and

sheep cuts, cow and rook marks

H176 x W9 x D6 cm



In willow country you must not know me and not try


badger claws, clay, ashes, bone black, crow bone, moor and river water, earth, wood, sand, dolmen soil, fox

and sheep cuts; rook, hare, cow and crow marks; crow and rook remains

H137 x W15 x D6 cm



Shuck is my great mother lung


river water and debris, moor water, earth, clay, ashes, bone dust, bone black; hare, badger, sheep, bird and

deer bone; wood, lichen, catkins, leaves, fox scat; tawny owl, pigeon and finch feathers; crow remains,

owl and kestrel pellets, mulch, hare paws, swallow droppings, slow worm, bird nest, straw, puffball, wax,

dolmen soil, cinders, sheep and fox cuts, cow and rook marks

H38 x W82 x D25 cm





hare, fox, rabbit and badger fur; wool, river water and debris, earth, clay, ashes, elderberries, bone dust,

bone black, sheep and owl bone, wood, bracken, owl and sparrowhawk pellets, mulch, moor water, lichen,

fox and sheep cuts, cow and rook marks, crow and rook remains, rook skull

H56 x W25 x D25 cm





agricultural waste, river water and debris, iron, earth, clay, ashes, bone dust, bone black, sea and moor

water, wax, fir tree root and bark, gull and raven feathers, fox and sheep cuts, cow marks, crow remains,

rook skull

H54 x W37 x D31 cm






fox, crow and jackdaw marks; crow feathers, clay, charcoal, inks, brook wood and water, deer and sheep

bone, bracken, willowherb, earth, debris

H12 x W66 x D42 cm



fox, crow and jackdaw marks; jackdaw feathers, clay, brook wood and water, deer bone, fox tooth, bracken,

willowherb, earth, detritus, wood

H17 x W35 x D33 cm





My head was full of harrier eggs, split flesh of plum, rook chatter


wood, sheep teeth; cow, deer and sheep bone; river water, bone dust, earth, roots, seeds, milk, papier

mâché, rook remains

H19 x W24 x D17 cm





root and branch, deer and fox bone, alder catkins, soot, remains from birds nest, papier-mâché, rook

remains, river water and debris

H30 x W22 x D25 cm


Jim Carter was born in Worcestershire in 1967. He received an MA with

distinction in Art and Environment from Falmouth University and an MSc

Award in Ecopsychology from the Centre For Human Ecology, Edinburgh. His

work has appeared in Dark Mountain, Unpsychology and Earthlines magazine.

Published by Anima Mundi to coincide with Jim Carter ‘Scraps From The Crow Cult’

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or

by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers

Thank you to Claira Matheson for photographing many of the pieces

Anima Mundi . Street-an-Pol . St. Ives . Cornwall . +44 (0)1736 793121 . mail@animamundigallery.com . www.animamundigallery.com


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