THE Oriel Davies Gallery at Newtown will be buzzing this Saturday, September 15, with performances and poetry readings accompanying the launch of its new group exhibition entitled 'Waking the Witch - Old Ways, New Rites'.

The exhibition reflects the British Isles’ strong relationship to magic and the occult with the chants of witchcraft echoing throughout its history.

It looks to the importance of craft, ritual and land on the practice of the ever shifting figure of the witch.

One of the artists involved, Ben Jeans Houghton will open the exhibition with an improvised performance expressing aspects of his own magical practice through harmonic voice and spoken word, using repurposed effects pedals, loopers, ritual tools and costume, between 6.30 and 7pm with all welcome, with the exhibition open until 8pm and then 10am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays, until November 7.

Other artists featured are Verity Birt, Anna Bunting Branch, Nadine Byrne, Mary Beth Edelson, Fiona Finnegan, Blue Firth, Fourthland, Georgia Horgan. Serena Korda, Candice Lin, Katarzyna Majak, Lucy Stein, Ayesha Tan Jones and Cathy Ward.

Traditional witchcraft has a strong connection to the earth with an intimate knowledge of herbs, plants and the elements - as well as the human body. As gatekeepers to altered consciousness witches have been both feared and sought out for their dealings with the unknown.

Historically persecuted as an outsider, the witch has been taken on by artists as a challenging force to prevailing norms and as a symbol of dissidence. Looking to symbols, tools and the coven as a space for focusing collective intent, the artists in this exhibition explore the path of the witch as one for how we can connect with the earth and each other.

Also at the gallery between 2.30 and 4pm there will be readings by the Border Poets from their new anthology 'From the Wolf’s Hoard'. It will be hosted by local poet Chris Kinsey and admission is £4.