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Unveiling 'Fragments': A Journey Through Alchemy and Materiality

An update

Over the past three months, I've embarked on a transformative journey at Richmond Art School, pausing my Tarot deck project to delve into the world of Abstract Art. The course, centered on the theme of 'Alchemy and Materiality', has been a playground for experimentation, leading to the birth of a small series called 'Fragments'.

The process began with the creation of handmade laid paper, an art form as meditative as it is intricate. I experimented by using peace silk, ramie, and banana leaf among other materials, discovering their unique personalities and how they interact with light, shadow, and colour. Each sheet, a testament to the organic beauty of natural fibres, became a canvas for my explorations.

The heart of 'Fragments' lies in the mono printing technique—a dance between control and serendipity. I steeped the papers in homemade inks, concocted from the vibrant turquoise of copper oxide, the deep hues of organic lac, and the earthy tones brought forth by ferrous sulfate.

The result

A symphony of colours that speak of the papers' intimate encounters with these elemental inks.

But creation often involves destruction. In a deliberate act, I introduced fire into the process, burning the papers to reduce their size, and evolving each piece through the ritual of flame. This act of burning is not one of obliteration, but of revelation—exposing the resilience of materials and the fleeting beauty of decay.

The image attached showcases the culmination of this process. The 'Fragments' series captures the alchemical transformation from raw, organic materials to art that resonates with history and emotion. Each piece, while part of a collective narrative, holds its secret—whispers of the flames, echoes of the ink, and the silent strength of the fibres.

As I return to my art studio, the lessons of 'Alchemy and Materiality' linger. They remind me that art is not just about creation but also the journey and the stories we tell through the materials we choose to shape. 'Fragments' is not merely a series of artworks; it's a milestone on my creative path and a testament to the beauty of transformation.

What now?

As I pause to reflect on the journey of creating 'Fragments,' these pieces have grown into more than just artworks—they have become a part of my collection, each a cherished artifact of my exploration into the realm of Abstract Art. They are not of a quality for sale but serve as a creative touchstone for me as an artist, marking a significant phase in my artistic evolution.

Looking ahead, I am returning to the project that has been waiting patiently in the wings: my new Tarot deck. After a period of immersive study and experimentation, I am invigorated and ready to channel these recent experiences into the final stages of the Tarot deck's creation. With a refreshed perspective and a wealth of new insights gleaned from my time at Richmond Art School, I am eager to bring this project to fruition. Expect to see the completed deck by mid-2024, where I hope to share a new visionary tool that reflects the depth and texture of the lessons learned during these past transformative months.

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