Saturday, 18 June 2011

Anamelech: development and symbolism

Photo, concept, manipulation, frame design: GothicNarcissus
Model, hair, make up: Blood Countess
Styling: Blood Countess and GothicNarcissus
Additional resources: Amptone-stock (textures), ArrsistableStock (starry sky), Faestock (peacock tail)

I bumped into Anamelech’s figure while doing researches about Adramelech; the two of them were derived from similar deities worshipped in an Assyrian town called Sepharvaun, Adramelech being the Sun God and Anamelech the Moon God(dess), so they were absorbed as Demons into the new monotheistic system together. Apart from that, the information about Anamelech as a stand-alone demonic figure is quite scarce: according to Matthew George Easton’s Bible Dictionary, she is a female lunar Demon who takes the form of a quail and is bearer of ill news; rome rabbinic traditions depict her as a mule instead – that’s all. Meh, thank you so much.
Anamelech, source unknown.
After patiently looking further, I found a much more interesting story about Anamelech projecting visions into Cain’s mind to push him to kill Abel and subsequently drive him insane to claim his soul: this would provide me with more useful material, but was still far from enough to build a character on. It was evident I had to work on my own, so, after scrapping the quail and mule part as it didn’t help me at all, I looked at the loose base I had, a female figure related to the moon, and decided to just take my Adramelech idea and mirror it: this is how the twin Demons idea was born. I already had Astaroth and Astarte as twins in my series, but while the two of them look really alike and have generally similar traits, Adramelech and Anamelech would just be the complementary opposite of each other. So, while he was bright, extroverted, arrogant, ambitious and flamboyant, she had to be murky, introverted, modest and gentle (although only in appearance, as the Moon is bright as well). On this base, I inserted the vision part, making Anamelech somewhat of a seer, and to mirror Adramelech’s ill friendship with Astaroth, I decided she had to be genuinely friends with Astarte.
Provided this basis, the two photos were conceived as having opposite but complementary characteristics: Adramelech would be light-haired, dressed in white, in a frontal pose with an open albino-peacock fan and an arrogant attitude, while Anamelech would be dark-hired, dressed in black, showing her profile in a shy way with a closed coloured peacock tail. For the model, I immediately thought of my friend Giulia due to her classy, aristocratic and melancholic features long before I got in touch with Jimmy for the companion work; although she agreed, we just didn’t get any occasion to meet. Coincidentally, I managed to arrange the photoshoot with her shortly after that with Jimmy, so that the two works would be published within a short time.
As I said, most of the symbolism in the work simply mirrors Adramelech’s, but there are some interesting things to say anyway: the profile pose is also a reference to the moon phases, while the starry background most obviously recalls the night sky. As Anamelech lacks a seal, I chose that of Decarabia due to its crescents, the astrological symbol of the Moon (and subsequently adapted it for Adramelech as well). Also, it’s interesting to note that the make up, opalescent with little feathers in the eyelashes, is meant to recall a peacock feather, albeit more soberly than Adramelech’s. The theme-colour, a pearl, obviously recalls the colour of the Moon. No need to explain why I chose Moonlit by Octavia Sperati as the theme song, I hope!

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