Murder Most Crafty with Art Macabre in the Secret Drawing Room at London Craftacular This Sunday!

by Chloé Burrow

Do you love a bit of Lansbury? Are you partial to Poirot? No clues needed—make haste to York Hall in Bethnal Green this Sunday as Art Macabre, producer of deathly drawing salons, takes up residence in the secret Murder Mystery Drawing Room at BUST Craftacular. Join hostess with the grossest, Nikki Shaill and a line up of carelessly crafting models (ouch!) for an hour-long event which we are told will make it impossible to look at a knitting needle the same way again! 

Art Macabre @ BUST Craftacular

We asked writer and DJ Alice Hubley to quiz Agatha Stitchie (aka founder Nikki Shaill), about the event.  Here’s what they talked about:

Tell us a bit about Art Macabre. 

For the past three years, Art Macabre has run life drawing workshops with a difference in London and beyond, that difference being that we inject lethal doses of theatricality and the macabre into the sessions. We call it ‘death drawing’! We started out as part of Ladyfest Ten, so we have a DIY, feminist outlook on life drawing and welcome models who present beautifully diverse styles and appearances to be drawn.  We have different deadly themes at each event and feature nude and costumed models, props, narrative and music. 

Have you been to the Craftacular before? 

I have indeed!  I’ve been a vendor at quite a few of the previous events selling everything from cakes to pom pom headdresses, badges and Baboushka gingerbread before. It’s always on my Christmas calendar as an event to look forward to, always a great chance to catch up with familiar faces and meet new people, too. And I love seeing people’s outfits there too!

What are you looking forward to the most?

I can’t wait to bring a touch of the dark side to York Hall and acting out my Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher fantasies, getting into character as a detective, and getting gorey with fake blood and knitting needles! It’s also always ace to see people being inspired to draw and the diversity of different style artwork produced in the workshops!

What special items or deals will you be offering shoppers this Craftacular?

We’ll be offering the opportunity for people to take a break from shopping and participate in a special festive themed Art Macabre Death Drawing session. It’ll be a bargain price of £5 to take part in a taster workshop with us in our Murder Mystery Drawing Room hidden underneath the stage. Our events usually cost between £10 to £20 to take part, so this will be a fantastic chance for people to get a taste for our macabre creativity, with extra crafty themes and kitsch Christmas fun thrown in the mix too!

How do you go about doing your Christmas shopping?

I’m a mixture of buying ahead as I get ideas for people (I’ve already got about 60% of gifts squirrelled away in a special Xmas present drawer) but also enjoying the thrill of the last minute rush! I usually pick up a fair few things at BUST each year, but mostly presents for myself, I must admit! This year I’ve also embraced online shopping to get ahead, particulary Etsy and eBay bargains.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

I love the oldies—Mabel Scott’s ‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus’ gets me dancing around the tree.



or pay on the day at the front desk at BUST Craftacular on SUN DEC 8. Full details here

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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