Alchemy is a diverse range of practice and philosophy centered on transformation. It is a holistic practice that considers how everything is connected, while exploring material potentials and boundaries. One of the theoretical foundations is the principle of all things being composed of varying proportions of the same basic components, referred to as materia prima, (first matter) so there exists the notion of mutability of all matter. It is also defined as the processes of transmuting a base matter, or something of little value, into something of wonder and desire. Relevance to my studio practice is where both artist and alchemist work between the worlds of visible and invisible, the known and unknown. As the precursor to more modern chemistry, practitioners of alchemy developed medicines, pigments, alloys, cosmetics and most relevant here, the arts of dyeing. My studio experimentation is not merely to interpret the worldbut conjure a sense of wonder and possibility. The implication of alchemy and magic allude to what is not fully understood by all, something that may be super-natural. It also holds the metaphysical potential of connecting with forgotten knowledge.
Sean Martin, Alchemy and Alchemists (Harpenden: Oldcastle Books, 2006). Ulli Seegers in Dupre et al. Art an Alchemy: Mystery of Transformation,ex.cat (Chicago: Hirmer Publishers, 2014). Martin, Alchemy and Alchemists(Harpenden: Oldcastle Books, 2006).