It’s time to share something very special. Each year, Beltane Fire Festival comes to life in the skilled hands of a talented artist. And, as part of our celebrations to mark our thirtieth Beltane, we decided to invite one of our poster artists from Beltane’s past, Natasa Ilincic, to design the poster and flyer artwork for our special edition.
As you’ll see, we asked her to weave in some particular components. The results are a stunning visual celebration of our festival that we feel captures the true essence of Beltane:
The two figures locked in an embrace are the May Queen and Green Man, the two central roles in our festival. The May Queen wears white and red, the colours of the divine feminine, decorated with flowers evoking a sense of Spring.
The Green Man appears as the Horned God, his Winter guise, just as he does at the start of our festival, before being stripped of it and brought back to life by the May Queen. See them emerge in Natasa’s original sketch:
The border designs are inspired by the Celtic patterns of past fire arches, the flaming arcs that our Court processes through each Beltane, signifying a move to another world. This pattern turns to roots at the bottom, celebrating our roots as a society and festival; particularly significant for our thirtieth festival.
The warmth of the colours represents the fire glowing through patterns cut into the arch, and the figures are basked in the hazy smoke that covers the Hill at dusk as our festival begins. In the background are trees that symbolise the late-spring growth that appears on Calton Hill by 30th April.
The image above will be used as our poster and flyer front, but the flyer back is equally stunning:
You can spot the same beautiful fire arch patterns and roots around the border, which also incorporate the columns of Calton Hill’s National Monument (known affectionately by Beltaners as the Acropolis), the point where our event starts each year. At the top, the lion eating a sun is a nod to the poster for the very first Beltane Fire Festival of modern times, which centred around this image (symbolising alchemy) from the 17th century.
Natasa even carefully picked the font for its significance: called Teutonic, it was published by the Scottish type foundry Miller & Richard in Edinburgh, inspired by the emerging Art Nouveau fonts of the end of the 19th century. A lovely nod to our Edinburgh roots and fitting for what Natasa describes as the ‘Art Nouveau-ish style’ of the poster.
Of course the flyer also includes our special 30th anniversary logo, as well as the logo for Tradfest. We’re very excited to be a key part of Tradfest (A week-long celebration of Scotland’s traditional arts) this year, especially as it’s one of the signature components of 2017 as Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
These beautiful designs will start popping up across Edinburgh and parts of Glasgow very soon, so keep a look out!