When there is no sense of good, no vow made to the out-right pleasure of holiness, we only see evil. The images of Toronto illustration duo Tin Can Forest are honest and pure, but they do not give us a sense of ‘good,’ but they are also devoid of evil. Tin Can Forest create moments of sacrosanct ritual and reverie that plays with the role of good and evil in such a way that the concept evolves into deep folklore. The angelic goat, the coy demon — the occult and the polytheism of a lost mythology.
Tin Can Forest are artists Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek, their roles in the creation of their pieces so cohesive there is no apparent reference to the work being done by four hands. Together they have created books, animation, and illustrations that explore the forests and the moonlight, the mythology of the Slavic world and the occult. They portray the darkness of ghost and demon in a normal state, there is nothing meant to incite fear or dread, only knowledge.
Their piece ‘Vánoce‘ (Czech for Christmas) finds a circle of horned demons gathered in whispered huddle, a comment on what the other creatures are doing on the evening of the birth of the baby Jesus. In ‘Cervena Karkulka‘ we find Little Red Riding Hood, her striking red cloak an embroidered vyshyvanka design. Instead of grandmother’s cottage, Cervena Karkulka (Little Red Riding Hood) rest atop the wolf in the moonlit woods. In ‘Vasilisa‘ the artists depict the heroine Vasilisa on her way to her family, a lantern crafted of a human skull and lit by coal gifted by Baba Yaga guiding her through the wood. Tin Can Forest tackle ancient narratives from the perspective of the shadows — where we watch the witch, the devil, and the angel at play.