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Gallery 3

Exhibition 1: ‘ Totems ‘

‘ As a conceptual system, totemism appears to arise from the human experience of interacting with the natural world for generations, stretching back into an obscure but remembered past – the point of origin. This temporal structure is sometimes called the primeval or prehuman flux and connotes the aboriginal belief in a “primeval kinship with all creatures of the living world and to the essential continuity among them all.“ The totem thus transcends the appearance of difference between various natural species; it refers to a more fundamental or basic reality where “all living beings existed in a state of flux – their external forms were interchangeable. This animate world includes all that grows and all that moves about in air and sky, on earth, below the earth, and in the sea; it includes even the gods and the everbearing earth in her totality.” For the Paleolithic mind the totem is a metaphorical link to or symbolic representation of both humankind’s unity with the natural world and the vital interdependence between humankind and nature. ‘
Max Oelschlaeger ( 1991 ) The Idea of Wilderness. Yale University Press.

Exhibition 2: ‘ Green Men
2011 - 2012

‘ As an image concentrated on the human head either with hair of vegetation or as a leaf mask the Green Man appears to have two main sources: one is the mask form, which is the creation of Roman sculptors in the first century AD; the other is in Celtic art from before the Roman conquest of Gaul. The Green Man, as a composite of leaves and a man’s head, symbolizes the union of humanity and the vegetable world. He knows and utters the secret laws of Nature. Jung made use of The Green Man as an image from the collective unconscious of humanity. According to this theory an archetype, such as the Green Man represents, will recur at different places and times independently of traceable lines of transmission because it is part of the permanent possession of mankind. In Jung’s theory of compensation, an archetype will reappear in a new form to redress imbalances in society at a particular time when it is needed. According to this theory, therefore, the Green Man is rising up into our present awareness in order to counterbalance a lack in our attitude to Nature.
William Anderson ( 2002 ) Green Man – The Archetype of our Oneness with the Earth. Compass Books.

Exhibition 3: ‘ Alchemical Rockwork ‘

2011 -

‘ You can't read much of alchemy, or of Jung, without learning that he saw in alchemy's rich, magical, medicated symbolism the outlines of individuation, the lifelong enrichment of consciousness and its actualities by contact with the unconscious and its potentialities. Jung found in alchemy the bridge between Gnosticism and psychology and the historical counterpart to his concept of the collective unconscious. He discovered that the artifex, the alchemical researcher who preceded both chemist and psychologist, projected into matter's dark mystery the search for the Self (from the Hindu atman or spark of God), archetypal centre and organizer of personality, symbolized by the trapped spirit Mercurius (or his windy forerunner Hermes, derived in turn from the Egyptian Thoth) and the Lapis Philosophorum, the Philosopher's Stone that could extend life, heal all sicknesses, and transform base metals into gold. And, for the true philosophers, not the base gold of the "puffers," but the essence of metals: "Our gold is not the ordinary gold." Nor was their wisdom the ordinary wisdom.
Craig Chalquist, Cooking for the Collective Unconscious: An Alchemically Enlivened Recipe. Alchemy Journal vol 5 no. 4 Winter 2005.


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