We got flooded with breathtaking art in the wake of our open call for the first SWARM Mag theme of 2021, NEO-MEDIEVALISM, and that's why we are changing the theme's duration for the first time. Get the rundown of what you can look forward to in the course of the upcoming not three but six months.

ℌ𝔢𝔞𝔯 𝔶𝔢, 𝔥𝔢𝔞𝔯 𝔶𝔢! 

𝔚𝔢𝔩𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔢𝔱𝔥 𝔱𝔬 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔰𝔢𝔠𝔬𝔫𝔡 𝔶𝔢𝔞𝔯𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔶𝔫𝔢 𝔭𝔩𝔞𝔤𝔲𝔢. 

The widespread interest in medieval themes in popular culture, especially computer games such as MMORPGs, films and television, neo-medieval music, and popular literature, has been called neomedieval. Critics have discussed why medieval themes continue to fascinate audiences in a modern, heavily technological world. A possible explanation is the need for a romanticized historical narrative to clarify the confusing panorama of current political and cultural events.” – “A Touch of Medieval: Narrative, Magic and Computer Technology in Massively Multiplayer Computer Role-Playing Games” by Eddo Stern

In the true fashion of clairvoyants, astrologers, palm readers and witchy wenches of yesteryear, we’ve successfully predicted the art world’s current “it” theme already some time ago. Armour is yet again creeping over the thresholds of prominent fashion houses, tapestries are being woven (depicting ye olde McDonalds), herbs and spices are being (once again) used to dye haute couture silk robes but this is just the culmination and natural continuation of what the trend in video games, board games, movies and pop culture has been observing since the 90s. Remember Elder Scrolls and Conan the Barbarian? The sole influx of medieval-inspired and somehow related art we received in our inbox drove the point home. Honestly, no one is thinking of the “good ol’ simple days” of leprosy, peasantry and dying middle-aged. But is it just the coolness factor, some strange kind of nostalgia or might the above excerpt by Eddo Stern hit the honeypot?

Methinks we might be drawn to the thinking and imagination of our ancestors, of the lore they crafted and hearsay they passed as we’re fascinated by the notion of how they must have perceived things without our modern insights. To them, magic was very real and everyday. Invisible forces, substances, authorities, celestials and myths controlled, guided and watched over their life. Regarding our recent experiences, many started rediscovering textile and thread crafts, woodworking, carpentry, sowing, sewing, growing, gardening, candlemaking, etc. As always, we just cherrypick the good bits and make them work with our convenient present.


Which finally brings us to the faire ladies, lordes and everyone betwixt and beyond we shall present to you over the course of six months. 

We’ll grace your eyes with illustrations on themes of bodily transformation, queerness, fairy-tale gothic, fear, duality, magic and uncanniness. Black and white aggression, sociology and perversity presented as comics. Works influenced by ancient artwork, prehistoric cave paintings, folk craft, nightmares, witches and sorcerers. 

Personal mythologies manifesting as strange creatures and goddesses; the good friends, medieval and metal, appearing together in cruster illustration and jacket patches. Iconography, illuminations, engravings altars and stained-glass panes inspiring contemporary paintings; designer PC game exploring how certain past motives flow into the present. The metaphorical and lived dance with Death.


Sculptures and drawings oscillating between alchemy and pop culture. Dungeons with thin, tall towers and the elusive Jesus. Exploring the idea of the Sacrificial King, a mythological pattern that we find across all civilizations at various eras. Artworks, tattoos and performance work influenced by personal demons, monsters and breakups. A film about a Fish Prince trapped in a supermarket based on Grimms fairy tale The Fisherman and his Wife.

The phenomenon of shapeshifting and its convoluted history expressed in fashion; an atmosphere of suppressed violence, lost memory, man’s disintegration, the mark of the beast imprinted into garments; hard, sharp, rattling things resembling a deadly medieval weapon. Handicraft textile techniques, good and beautiful, making a comeback. Embroidered mystical, Gothic and medieval scenes on second-hand clothing. 

Reassessing the value and rareness of fashion production and connected crafts; utilizing the gifts of nature – every fiber, leather fragment and precious metal. Magical digital textile design. Unique language of texture, an own identity within clothing. 

Take our hand in a shiny gauntlet and walk the fragrant, muddy meadow path with us until summer.


𝔗𝔥𝔶𝔫𝔢 𝔱𝔯𝔳𝔩𝔩𝔶 

𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔖𝔚𝔄ℜ𝔐 𝔐𝔞𝔤 𝔱𝔢𝔞𝔪


BIO / the author of the cover animation is PetrKoll, a Czech Visual designer, interested in 3D Illustration & Animation. He loves BLACK, RPG games, gin & tonic, and dark techno music.  For more: /


For your reading and studying pleasure:

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration by Richard Barnett


Smile Stealers: The Fine and Foul Art of Dentistry 1st Edition by Richard Barnett 


Crucial Interventions: An Illustrated Treatise on the Principles & Practice of Nineteenth-Century Surgery Illustrated Edition by Richard Barnett 


Surgery and Medicine: An Image Archive of Vintage Medical Images for Artists and Designers by Kale James 


“A Touch of Medieval: Narrative, Magic and Computer Technology in Massively Multiplayer Computer Role-Playing Games” – Eddo Stern


Balenciaga’s Autumn 2021 collection just got (virtually) real – Grazia magazine


Alchemist’s Gold & Eternal Life: The Secrets of Medieval Alchemy – History answers


Witches Brew: How Women Shaped Beer History – All the Swirl


Please Pass Me The Eye Of Newt; What’s Really In That Witch’s Cauldron – Dave’s Garden



Text / Františka Blažková

Animation & Artworks / PetrKoll

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