The Art of the Vampyre

Masque – The Art of the Vampyre is a project exploring Gothic Art and Gothic Literature. Throughout 2000 Digital artist Conrad Gaunt and writers Val Magee and Bob Beagrie worked collaboratively with young artists, writers and musicians from Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland on a Year of the Artist project, exploring gothic art and literature and the myth of the vampire. A weekend school was held at Village Arts in November introducing participants to cross-art group collaborations involving gothic poetry and wyrd tales; painting, making and modelling, creative writing, film and digital arts and installation design.

The project has also been supported by The Carnegie Trust, The Northern Rock Foundation, The DfEE and Middlesbrough Rotary Club.

Vampire Haikus

Feed till the heart stops beating
The pangs ease for now.

A Forgotten child
In a nursery long gone
Cries for her mother

Gabby Kent

Snatched from sleep, she sighs –
Opens eyes (as he, her vein)
Back again, to rest.

David Leyland

The first sun rises.
The victim will be the hunter.
The last sun sets…

The last moon brings tears.
The hunter is the victim.
The first sun rises.

Hayley McNalley


Stare thru shadow
& strain yer ears to aching
fer every creak & clatter
of settling night.

The groan of pipes, or
echoes of stone-rinsed, split timbers.
Demeter driven in tatters
with her captain lashed to the wheel.

All talon tapping reanimated fears,
& the knowing double-cross
of yer social status. Shearing stalks
off the fortified ego, suspended

in sleep to reap a bloody riot
in the smallest hours, as road-rage
fades under cathedral eves & the devil
headed door knocker rattles in the breeze.

& summat's there, I swear as still as undeath,
hungrier than barley visions of Brughal's hell,
but scrubbed up well for a walk on the far-side
of every desire you've shied from.

This terrible other.
Incest-sucker with a finger on the jugular
ready to plunge & plumb the cowled
circumference of yer noon-time conscious.

Bob Beagrie


Northern Rock Foundation
Borough Council Funders and Northern Arts