Art by Alan Daniels

girls”? You hint there is a community of them that is almost real – can you reveal more about them, or this community?

AD: I had always thought of Heavenlyhussys as a place and not a name for the girls. It was more of a sanctuary in which they could exist and develop, each one bringing something unique to the community. It now seems the earlier girls were developing their characters. It is only in the later work that they start to interact.

SDk: Focussing on some specific pieces now, is there a metaphysical aspect to No Choice But To Leave; They’re So Cute, Can I Have One?; and Keeping a Check on Things?

AD: No Choice But To Leave. Bound and banished, tormented and protected. The masked angel and the screaming demon character are tethered by an umbilical cord. It is the idea that the same thing that can protect you can also destroy you. She has been bound and cast out but really does not care too much – or does she? You can’t always see the fear behind the mask.

They’re So Cute, Can I Have One? The circus comes to town. I had been working for Disney on Tinker Bell’s home of Pixie Hollow, and I drifted off and found a carnival approach of

strange magical trees in a saturated landscape. The two main characters are the Ring Mistress for the Carnival, and the Protector of Innocence. The two girls dancing in the ball are a portrayal of captive innocence being dragged forth into the unknown; the lady with the knife is protecting them from whatever lies ahead in the unknown, but she probably wants one for her own more than she should.

Keeping a Check on Things. Fending off the demons, she stands on the edge of the mirror world in a haunting, vaulted chapel. She is what nurtures, creates and ultimately protects against all fears. She is on the brink of hell. She is a mother.

SDk: Some of your pieces share certain aspects of mystical imagery depicted in the paintings of the Australian artist Rosaleen Norton, “the witch of Kings Cross” (that’s in Sydney). She was notorious especially in the late 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. For example, your Chastity the Puppeteer is reminiscent of Norton’s The Jester with its larger-than-life force beyond humanity manipulating the strings of mortal “puppets”; and your Keeping a Check on Things, with its occult-like figures with serpentine tongues, is reminiscent of Norton’s Three Sisters. Do you know

/ We left England to join the circus in Sweden – I know, nobody does that, but we did. It was a fun time, we were given a bottle of vodka every morning and an unlimited meal ticket to the smoked eel stand. /