The impact of the Heavens on earthly matters has been expressed thoroughly in art throughout human history. In these new works on paper, I was inspired by countless maps marking the strata of the Cosmos, diagrams of alchemical apparatus, and visualizations of the stages of the Great Work. To greatly oversimplify it, Alchemy is a process of breaking something down to its base components, purifying what is left (through physical processing or through study and reflection), and recombining the pieces into an elevated whole. Each major stage of the process is ruled by one of the seven classical planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon (typically in that order). These correspondences implied in the concept of “as above, so below” of the Emerald Tablet form the foundation of my work with art and magic.
Much of my personal practice is timed with the hours of the planets to capture natural currents and appeal symbolically to those celestial forces for their unique attributes. I believe that reciprocity is an essential factor in relationships of all kinds. What does the Cosmos need from me in order to provide me with guidance and energy? Some would say devotion or, at the very least, gratitude. Through such studies as these pieces represent, I try to understand the nature of this magic better and I show my gratitude for being allowed to be in this great, ongoing conversation. I give my own energy back to the overall scheme through research, practice, and artistic effort.
The inclusion of intuitive and chance methods (working without a plan, accepting impulses as given information, text as image techniques, and the unpredictability of the printing press) symbolizes the trust that must be given to any kind of process work, be it artistic, psychological, alchemical, or spiritual. There may be a general structure to serve as a loose map, but the movement through the actuality is personal and unpredictable. This type of work often feels like a collaboration with something larger than myself.