Lapilli from the volcanic crater on Stromboli
This work uses volcanic rocks found at the edge of the crater on the island of Stromboli, they have been tightly wrapped with thin gold thread and suspended arbitrarily between two points using lengths of gold plated copper wire.
Within my artistic practice I have been exploring the hidden potential energies within places or objects, and the transmission of such to the viewer by means of the artwork. This particular work is also infused with the hermetic and alchemical traditions of ancient sages Paracelsus and Hermes Trismegistus.
In 2ndCentury B.C Hermes Trismegistus laid down the foundations of the hermetic tradition. His famous dictum, “as above, so below” relates humanity, or the ‘microcosm’, to the cosmos or ‘macrocosm’, through the constituent of common material and energy particles from which everything has its antecedent. The 16thCentury alchemist Paracelsus added the connective idea of ‘harmony’ between human beings and the Universe through the medium of base metals, a source for medical and spiritual health. Gold for instance was associated with the heart and the sun, but also strongly associated with alchemical practice, where practitioners became greedily interested in making their fortune from creating it in their laboratories.
The volcanic rocks are Earth’s newest and purest creation, randomly ejected out of the Earth’s mantle as fresh new land. Once wrapped with the gold thread and suspended, they are trapped in time, immoveable within the metal, which man values above all other……the alchemists’ holy grail. The use of gold thread within this artwork here is paradoxical, it imprisons another natural material neutralising its energy, but it is also the conducting catalyst between Earth and the Cosmos. At first glance the artwork suggests a simple environmental message – man’s greed attempts to imprison and control nature, with dire consequences; but also could be considered in a more cynical context, converting a natural and pure material into a sterile Art object within the contrived context of exhibition – for the pleasure of the human that captured it!