‘Solve et Coagula’ – An Exhibition with the Modern Alchemists

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On the 20/06/14, my work was featured in an exhibition by the Cardiff based Art Collective  ‘Modern Alchemists’. Having taken me under their wing for their autumn show, I soon found myself being asked once again to appear in their show. As we had spoken of Alchemy before, and my growing interest in it, they asked me to work on something alchemical for the show; as to which I did.

My final piece for the first term began to be reborn from it’s own ashes; my growing interest in entropy; in the potential within objects and ideas, fuelled a recreation of the piece; one that incorporated many more aspects from my own interests and discoveries surrounding the Alchemical project. I began to think of a piece which questioned the potential of an art piece. The alchemical experiment was laid out, as well as a number of other objects that had relevance to my personal life; A sketchbook from an onset of Depression, A bible opened to the book of the prophet Ezekiel, a series of twelve jars holding the major elements in the human body, as well as trace, some charred bones and feathers, tied together to achieve some form of ‘primal’ contingency, amongst other things. In the bowl in the centre, was the remains of an experiment; charred bones, elements and my own blood, as well as some ‘Philosopher’s Stones’ I had crafted before. The experiment had already occurred before the exhibition had even started, the space seemed to have lost it’s potential…or had it?

The piece was open to touch, and various members of the public reached out and embraced it; they read the sketchbooks, they opened the jars and the objects in the bowl, one person even stole two metal stones I had found and utilised (proving the work had intrinsic value). The piece gained potential through the interaction of other human beings.

What a fascinating idea that is, and one that set in motion a thought. What of this potential in objects, and what part does humanity play in all of this? Is potential inherent with an object, or do we, as humans, see the potential within them?

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The Vault in which the piece was housed  

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The piece within darkness

Find out more about the Modern Alchemists here;  and their new Gallery, the Abacus, here.

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