Imbolc: Return of the light

Posted by David Travis on 1 Feb 2021

Imbolc: Return of the light

Today — February 1st — is Imbolc, a festival where pagans give thanks to the goddess Brigid. It is a time to welcome the return of the light and to look forward to spring. There is an inherent optimism to Imbolc, a belief that our hardships will come to an end and that things will get better. With its hopeful and confident vision of the future, Imbolc encourages us to reframe anxieties about the coronavirus pandemic and realise that "this too shall pass".

To express this visually I created a series of images that feature Imbolc symbols such as candles, snow drops, and a Brigid's Cross alongside symbols of coronavirus such as a masked face and social isolation. Because Imbolc is a fire festival, I printed the images, set them on fire, and re-photographed them as they burnt.

Freedom from harm


Light in the darkness


Spring reborn

Here's a behind-the-scenes video that shows how I created these images.

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