On this autumn day, I’m very excited to tell you about a poetry project which poet & healer Sascha Aurora Akhtar and transcendental artist John Alexander Arnold, have created.
This illuminated poetry object combines poetry and illustration, as a deck of 45 +a "wild card", Dedication card & Frontispiece, by zimZalla art objects. (Find out more out Manchester press, zimZala here: https://zimzalla.co.uk/objects-2/) John has created these intricate and innovative illustrations inspired by Sascha’s poetry, on a miniature scale, without losing any detail!
No formal tarot guidelines apply, however, and almost all the poems are meditations on death & dying. In this way the object belongs to the Vanitas genre. (16th &17th century Vanitas tradition focused on contemplation of the temporal nature of our existence.) It also marks a progression in Sascha’s style, as she tackles huge emotions in short and succinct poems.
Sascha: "Above all what I want people to know, is that I have suffered & struggled with extreme forms of depression, anxiety my entire life. These brief poems are forays into that frame of mind. It was not until I learnt that I needed to embrace ALL parts of me, that I was able to work towards some kind of 'wellness'. Perhaps these poems are those parts of me, mournful, questioning, anxious, uncertain - sometimes teetering on the edge- made into objects, brought into the light; illuminated. In this way the process, and seeing John's exquisite art elevate my thoughts, which maybe are the kinds of things we are ashamed of, or just don't say to people- has been an act of healing".
The Bhor Foundation for Mental Health (@BhorFoundation) has put forward its support for Only Dying Sparkles, which Sascha & John are grateful for. There may even be a launch!
Above all...this is a family affair, reflected in the photos of the poet & artist. Sascha & John are both solo parents, who feel without their little companions, Sakura & Kalos - their muses, they would not be complete. They are so grateful to Tom Jenks of zimZalla.co.uk for this gorgeous opportunity. John & Sascha have known each other through many lifetimes and are in fact, twin flames *.
*twin flames: Two strands of the same consciousness in two different bodies who only meet on this plane when they have dealt with
most of their shit/karma.
Sascha: "The deck is dedicated to family & friends & all the people we have heard about in the media recently who have taken their own lives".
More about Sascha:
Sascha Aurora Akhtar originates from Pakistan, and was educated there and in the USA. Her debut poetry collection, The Grimoire of Grimalkin, was published in 2007 and greeted as “a contemporary masterpiece”, with the British newspaper The Guardian naming Akhtar one of the top twelve
Please mail Tom Jenks to express your interest for discounted pre-order. Mail@zimzalla.co.uk - there are pre-order presents available, such as a guided meditation + sound healing & intuited ritual objekt!