(Last Updated On December 17, 2020)
When I wrote the original post of ‘Fall from Grace’, I was not privy to many of the details known to a few intimates of Graham’s. I have since gotten to know the man and his situation much better. With a better understanding of timelines and the motivations of the players involved, I have a much clearer picture. At the time, I did not want to risk saying something libelous that would make Pigtails in Paint appear to be nothing more than gutter journalism. Graham has quite obviously been the object of a frameup and Her Majesty’s courts, out of embarrassment over their own incompetence or an overly trusting attitude about law enforcement, have failed to vindicate the man.
This travesty is doubly sad now that Graham’s health is deteriorating rapidly and it is likely that he may never see the restitution due him. In addition, during the embezzlement of the equity in Barley Splatt there was also the theft of rare collectibles taken during a hospital stay which took place before his trial.
Charles Dodgson – (date unknown)
Fortunately, Graham had the presence of mind to take scans of many of these items in advance and so at least the images can be seen by the public. In the effort to expose these thefts to general scrutiny and perhaps some hope of discovering some items illegally offered on the secondary market, a special website has been hastily assembled. I urge those who want a deeper understanding of the intrigues of the case or routinely trawl the secondary market for collectibles to take a look using the link below.
Graham Ovenden: Notes on the Embezellment [sic] of Barley Splatt and the Theft of Major Collections
(Last Updated On December 3, 2020)
Most of you have noticed that things are winding down here at Pigtails. That does not mean that we have stopped responding to requests and leads. I do have a few that need to be posted. We still have a few surprises for you. Hope our American readers had a great Thanksgiving and best wishes to all for the coming Christmas holiday.
(Last Updated On November 5, 2020)
Nope, didn’t get to the dozen or so items that I still need to post. The simple fact of the matter is that a social life with a life mate is not conducive to maintaining a blog of any kind. Mari does not have a problem with my work here and, in fact, she has helped out from time to time. But I have entered a new phase of my life and priorities have to change.
The Samantha Gates Site: A couple of readers have reported last month that the Gates site is down. I’m afraid I cannot offer many details because Amanda who runs the site, is currently incommunicado. Her last communication to me was a few months ago. She explained that a lot of drama was going on in her life and that she would tell me everything. We were talking about a partnership in running Pigtails. That was the last I heard. Another thing to consider is that even though Gates is not ashamed of the work she did as a model, some branches of her family are quite conservative and find it inappropriate to post these things. The project was begun by Mackenzie who passed away in the early stages. She was a cousin of Sam’s and had her blessing. Also, since models are not given masters of the photos taken of them, she was keen on gathering examples of the work done with her. Amanda (Mackenzie’s best friend) carried on but since she is not a family member, she probably felt pressure to take a step back and withdraw from the project. Amanda also expressed dismay at the overly eager requests for the publishing of the nudes which she intended to post in due course. Anyway, this is a sad loss because Hajime Sawatari, Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge contributed valuable never-before-seen materials for the site. Amanda had intended to interview Graham about his experiences with Sam (a real angel by all accounts) and she was intending to write an article based on the Ionesco materials for Pigtails (meant to be a companion to the Bourboulon post). She also told me that Sam was open to having a phone conversation with me as well which looks like it will not materialize.
 Fortunately, many people make it a habit to download websites that may be subject to censorship or closure. As a result, I am delighted to announce that the higher-resolution versions of the images to the Samantha Gates site will be republished in due course. Readers will be advised when the mirror site is in place (I believe that’s how we’re going to handle it).
 Because the Gates database is small, it did not take long to create a copy of the site. There are some glitches regarding fonts, but it’s all there including full-resolution images. Here’s the link.
(Last Updated On October 4, 2020)
My apologies for the lateness of this post. The simple fact is that running this blog and having a social-love-family life is not conducive to keeping up on the vagaries of the cult of the girl child. Fortunately, there have been a lot of wonderful leads from readers and there are a couple of guest articles pending. Also, as promised, there will be some reprints of Novel Activist articles. In addition, our internet host has archived Ray’s articles and images for the most part and is putting together a more complete archive. I will be doing my best to get these things posted (didn’t happen last month, obviously). Rest assured that I do still receive and read your comments and emails so if there are good leads, let me know. It is also still my intent to complete the ‘Artists by Name’ and other databases to be sure readers will have access to all our leads and can: 1) research on their own and 2) know if we missed something that should have been listed. There are also quite a few album covers still to present and at least two original items submitted by readers. Despite the decline in activity, it is still exciting to realize that we are coming up on our 10th anniversary and that is a proud accomplishment that demonstrates how the handling of our challenging subject matter might be be achieved.
Best wishes to all in the coming month and continue to use caution and be safe during these Coronavirus Contamination Protocols. -Ron, Editor-in-Chief
(Last Updated On September 4, 2020)
As is so often the case, when researching other artists, a few new names pop up on my radar. Chris Killip (b1946) is known for his gritty black and white images of people and places which was beginning to fall out of fashion.
Chris Killip – Helen and her Hula hoop Seacoal Camp Lynemouth Northumberland (1984)
(Last Updated On September 3, 2020)
I can’t believe it’s September already. Last month, a lot of interesting leads came in. We also got permission to reprint Novel Activist articles. I will try to get some of these things up this month. We are still looking for a decent download of Novel Activist. The current archives are a bit skimpy on the images.
Victorian Children: A colleague found an interesting colorized video featuring the children of the Lumiere family in 1896. A real slice of life. Take a look here.
Father with Children: There’s an interesting trailer for a recent film called People Places Things (2015). Word is that the girls did some great acting. Take a look.
(Last Updated On August 2, 2020)
Some interesting things have been coming in but nothing to report to the readers. I have successfully negotiated terms in acquiring an Edwardian postcard collection so that will be added to the Pigtails Archive.
Rescuing Novel Activist: I’m sure many of you were dismayed to learn of the shuttering of the Novel Activist site. It was an important site to me and I discovered it at the same time I did Pigtails in Paint. In fact, when Pip invited me to be a writer for this site, he told me that Pigtails has to take priority over NA. It’s funny to think what might have been if Ray had invited me first.
In the ‘Allied Websites’ page, there are some links to existing archives and I am pleased to say that if there are any articles that belong on this site, Ray Harris has graciously allowed them to be republished here. As an added bonus, Patricia, who has made a number of cogent contributions to this site said she is interested in doing this legwork. The only thing that remains is for some reader to come forward with a recent download of the site. Archives can be spotty and may be missing images. A download would guarantee that any images that no longer exist on the net can be republished. It was a download that rescued the first incarnation of Pigtails when it was first kicked off of WordPress. That is why all the early posts from the first two years are present on this site.
Artists by Name: I continue to push through the alphabetical list of leads in the Pigtails database and am posting them on the ‘Artists by Name’ page or making a ‘Random Images’ post if there seems to be only one or a couple of interesting instances. I have worked up to the letter “F” so anything before that I have missed, please bring it to my attention.
The Remains of Sublime Natures: A number of people have inquired about Peter Dominic and the court order destroying his work. However, not all his work was destroyed, so it is possible to purchase certain prints. Dominic is also the agent for Jacques Bourboulon so anyone wanting signed copies of books (and perhaps prints, I’m not sure) can contact me and I will give you the contact email.
Have a nice month and stay healthy. -Ron
(Last Updated On July 15, 2020)
I’m sure many were sad to see the shutdown of the website novelactivist.com. However, it should be understood that it was not shuttered because of controversial content. It’s founder, Ray Harris, established the site to assist in his research for his novels, especially Navaratri. In the long run Harris said, “it became a financial burden and a distraction from writing.” This site was important to me because it was one of the first I encountered when I began to study the cult of the girl child in earnest. A handful of posts stand out in my mind and I felt it important that public attention be brought to them. So this is one of many “rescues” that I plan to post on this site.
The timing of my early research coincided with the controversy over Bill Henson’s photographs of young people around 2009 (more on that later). One of the things affected was this statue commissioned from Karin Tulloch in Perth in 1936 to be displayed publicly.
Karin Tulloch – Judith (1936)
Karin Tulloch – Judith (1936) (overhead closeup)
Because of the outcry over Hensen’s work at the time, the council found it prudent to temporarily relocate this statue to a more discreet area. The model, Judith Anketell, then 80 continued to defend the statue as a legitimate work of fine art. You can also see images of the work in progress here.
(Last Updated On July 15, 2020)
Gigi Finizio (b 1965) is an Italian singer, songwriter and actor. In 1993, he released the album cover shown below. Isn’t it sweet?
Gigi Finizio – Crescendo … nell’ amore (1993)
It reminds me how ludicrous the concept of sexualization is. I remember years ago my toddler cousin being encouraged to kiss one of the neighbor boys. Everyone said, “Ahhh, isn’t that so cute!” We live in a cynical age and maybe some people would even look at this today as inappropriate behavior. The problem with the concept of sexualization—and I am not the first to make this point—is that it presumes that babies, toddlers and children are not sexual beings at all. The mistake people make is the projection of an adult sexuality onto the younger individuals of our species. Every youngster has to learn the rules of their culture on how to express themselves and cope with the vagaries of their sexuality as they go along. They are taught to share and be sociable and, in this case, how to show affection even when goaded on by the adults making it seem a bit forced. Our sexuality does not magically crystallize in one moment but is built up over time as our capacities develop until it reaches an adult state with the ability to reproduce.
(Last Updated On July 15, 2020)
An associate found this little gem on YouTube. It is a musical short sung by Gloria Grey. I found it kind of interesting that it is an interracial pair of girls taking a bath, especially for that period. Short films like this would have been shown as a preview to a full-length feature in the theaters, so you can use your imagination and wonder what 1947 film might have followed. You can watch the entire thing here.
Studio Films – Oh, By Jingo (1947)