May 2015 – Spending some very wet, cold and miserable Melbourne days working on drawing. I’m using the Reader’s Digest Australia book Almanac of the Uncanny (1995) as source of inspiration while I work. My grandparents gave me this book as a Christmas present in 1998. My school principal grandfather loved to give my sister and I educational books as gifts. I still have all of them. Many of them have been useful sources of creative inspiration. He gave me this in the height of my fascination with UFOs.
This book offers something of a timeline of the strange, odd, unsolved mysteries of human history. While I am certain most of them have entirely reasonable explanations, the capacity of the human imagination to attribute supernatural forces as the cause of the uncanny is fascinating. This book begins with 60, 000 BC, when Neanderthals practiced funerary rites for the dead as some kind of early expression of religion, and leads up to the end of the 20th Century when many people were convinced the world would end. I finished high school at the end of 1999 and I do recall there being a lot of hype about the new millennium – and a lot of fear, too, with many people convinced that the Y2K Bug would usher in some kind of apocalypse. If anything, it ushered in an era of terrible pop music… but I do concede that this is my subjective opinion.