Ignis Naturalis – metal assemblage and painting
These works explores themes of alchemical transmutation. Alchemy is a defined as “A medieval philosophy and early form of chemistry whose aims were the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of a cure for all diseases, and the preparation of a potion that gives eternal youth. The imagined substance capable of turning other metals into gold was called the philosophers’ stone.” thefreedictionary.com
Alchemy has both physical and metaphysical goals. It can be read as a “feminisation of scientific thought regarding physics and solid matter”.1 It is about emissions of energy, destabilisation and processes of chemical reaction. These works use the illusory nature of paint is combined with the transmutation of metal. Processes of rusting, oxidisation, burning, patinas, and etching with acids and salts to act on the metal have been employed. The pieces are always in process and hence always changing. I use the transmutation of metals in alchemy as a metaphor for personal transformation.
1. Glenda Nalder, ‘Proliferating Substances & Murky seas: Matter and Substance in Janet Laurence’s Installations’, Eyeline, Vol. 25, Spring, 1994, pp. 20-23