In Praise of Vali

After I first saw the Mystic Fire VHS video copy of the The Witch of Positano in 1999, I went looking for Vali Myers, the Australian artist who lived in Italy and created an animal sanctuary there.

I searched for her landscape through a limoncello haze when I was in Positano at the turn of the century. My notes are scant, road weary. I long to go back.

Her visionary self portraits hit me hard, a dark mirror of a wilder self. In the last two decades she’s become the darling of the witch wave with her photogenic, vagabond style and her various totem animals. She was a Warhol kind of witch, a glamouring sort. Her images multiplied on the internet still ask me why so domesticated? Now we are reflected back to ourselves constantly, it is difficult to imagine what this invention entailed. I wonder what magic was seeded in her self-imaging? It is a thing of lasting power.

My wilful, hennaed hair is been an homage to her. 

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