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Meet the model: Pop Folk's Beccy

April 30, 2024 - Alice Barnes
Meet the model: Pop Folk's Beccy

Meet Beccy, the folklore-loving face of our NEW springtime jewellery collection, Pop Folk! We caught up with Beccy after a busy day of shooting to chat about paganism, historical landmarks and May Day celebration...

TD: Hey Beccy, can you describe yourself in five words:

BM: Neon-pagan, artist, activist, creative producer!

TD: You call yourself a Neon Pagan, what does this mean to you?

BM: I live by the wheel of the year, a pagan belief system which helps us to live more sustainably and in line with nature's seasonal cycles. The neon bit describes my acid folk aesthetic! 


TD: We can get on board with anything brightly coloured! Being the 1st of May today, what makes May Day so special?

BM: May Day equates to ‘Beltane’ in the wheel of the year. This festival celebrates the peak of Spring, the beginning of Summer, and the fertility and potential of the land and the living. Energy is high and nature’s bounty is beginning to grow abundant!

In Hastings we celebrate May Day every year with Jack in the Green, a free festival based on ancient rites and customs. The ‘Jack’ wears a huge conical costume covered with leaves and ribbons. The whole town joins in with the festival, painting their faces green and adorning outfits with foliage. The main procession - full of giants, outrageous costumes, drumming groups and morris dancers - winds its way through the Old Town, ending up at the castle where the Jack is ‘slain’ and summer released..!

Everything about this festival feels mischievous and energetic. 

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A post shared by Beccy McCray (@beccy_mccraycray)

TD: So exciting, and how will you be celebrating this year?

BM: Usually I’m in the procession with a group called Jackie and the Queens, which a bunch of us dreamed up one cider-drunk May Day on top of Hastings’ West Hill! Jackie and the Queens is a colourful and proud crew of fierce allies and the local LGBTQ+ community.

This year however I’m in Brazil on an art residency with fellow artist and folklore enthusiast, Hannah Davey. It’s part of a British Council initiative around festivals and climate storytelling, so we’ll be making plenty connections between Carnival and Jack in the Green!

TD: What's your favourite Folklore tale?

BM: I love the Colt Pixi. The tale of a mysterious, wild and ragged pony that watches over the landscape and lures unsuspecting walkers into treacherous bogland…. This cautionary tale is well known in the New Forest. Last year, I was the National Park’s official artist in residence and learned all about local myth and lore. Folktales like this connect us to the land, what has come before, and what may lie ahead. They serve to protect the land as much as those who walk it. 

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A post shared by Beccy McCray (@beccy_mccraycray)

TD: Stonehenge or Cerne Abbas Giant?

BM: Definitely Stonehenge! I was brought up not far from there and was lucky enough a few years ago to walk amongst the stones, so I feel very connected to the iconic, ancient site.

Shop Pop Folk, online and in our Covent Garden store now!

Alice Barnes