The cover of The Snow Witch, the magical realist novel by Matt Wingett

What is The Snow Witch?

“Ice, water, stone. One thing becomes something else becomes something else becomes something else. It is best to talk about life not as being, but as becoming.” 

– Donitza’s Mother, in The Snow Witch.

The Snow Witch operates under a spell of transformation

A novel becomes an art exhibition becomes a story on social media and on the streets, in pubs and coffee bars. It culminates in a magical ritual performed at a gig.

The Snow Witch celebrates Art.

That’s why it drew in actors, musicians, dancers and artists. That’s how it became an online and on-the-street story-game for intrepid players.

The Snow Witch is a journey. It begins in the deepest recesses of mind and traverses the world of the seen and the unseen; the world of the physical and magical; the world of the witch and the fox.

It started with one work of magical realism…

A snow crystal

The Snow Witch, A Portsmouth Novel – by Matt Wingett…

The story:

A woman on the run arrives in a British seaside town, a refugee from a horrifying past. Trapped by a freak blizzard, she finds unexpected kindness from the locals – except for one man who seems hellbent on possessing or destroying her. Unable to leave the icebound city, she is drawn into the lives of its people, whose stories force her to face her own cruel past.

What is she running from? What dark secret does she carry with her? – And how can she escape it if she won’t acknowledge it exists?

The Snow Witch is a story of love, obsession, murder and revenge – and of hope and healing in the darkest times.

“This is a beautiful, terrifying book. It draws you in with its poetic language, until you can’t escape its wintry spell. It oozes a subtle magic, and yet captures the sordid reality of urban life perfectly.” – “Justin”, reviewed on Amazon UK.

Available from LIFE IS AMAZING for £9.99, post free in the UK.

…It became a meeting point and springboard for artists to exhibit their work inspired by the novel…

"Lilith" - artwork by Julie Alice Chappel

The Snow Witch Art Exhibition…

…ran between 21st October – 10th November 2019…

Thirty artists submitted fifty works of art for The Snow Witch Art Exhibition, across a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, copperwork, steel sculpture, ceramics, textiles, mixed media installations and spoken word poetry.

The project that featured unique and fascinating work from artists and an equally enthusiastic response from visitors to the temporary exhibition at Cascades Shopping Centre, Portsmouth.

Darkness, change, music and transformation were some of the themes explored by artists whose work was well received, and the launch night saw The Snow Witch herself arrive to be utterly puzzled how the secrets of her life in Portsmouth had come to be public art!

More info on The Snow Witch Art Exhibition

Image – “Lilith” © Julie Alice Chappell

…It became a sequel, a game, a horror story, a gig, a spell – and much more…

Against the Tide Blog

The Snow Witch Transmedia Experience…

The starting point:

Taking as our inspiration the characters and story world in the The Snow Witch, a novel by Portsmouth author Matt Wingett, we set out to tell a new, expanded story. We came up with a new tale and we called it the Cursed City – Dark Tide.

The live storytelling event took place on facebook, instagram and the streets of Portsmouth during October and November 2019…

The Snow Witch playing her violin

Cursed City – Dark Tide: The Story

The concept:

A restless spirit of a murdered women hunts for victims in a quiet seaside town.

Janey’s spirit is vengeful, angry and spiteful. Having died traumatically, she cannot leave this place and seeks to wreak her vengeance on the town and its population. She is become Onryō, the most dreaded of spirits whose vengeance is indiscriminate, making no distinction as to whom it targets. Donitza holds the key to this tragic story having discovered the truth behind Janey’s disappearance through her own encounters with the denizens of this seaside town. A traveller and a witch from eastern Europe she is fleeing her own traumas. She can weave a spell to release the Onryō but will need the component parts to make her magical potions, and to sing her incantations. Led on by the mysterious street artist #Lissitch, can you, the audience solve the riddle and provide Donitza with the materials she needs to release the Onryō?

More info on Cursed City

Image: “Donitza” – featuring Hana Maria – original picture courtesy of Steven Tagg-Randall, copyright © Steven Tagg-Randall