Light can be Redirected, created with Nick Tipe, bassist and composer.
Alchemical transformation: the transformation of the self; a spiritual being encased in flesh and immersed in the material world, the world of the senses – powerful at midday like the sun and at the end of our years closer to spirit than flesh, as flesh decays and releases us into the spirit realm.
We ourselves are the Crucible. Time marks us – time, fate and life’s seasons as we weave our own transformation through spiritual awareness – our life itself, an allegory for the spiritual path of turning dross matter into gold …
My work as a sculptor and painter in itself is an alchemical process… Working with wax, clay, fire and touch to create my paintings and sculptures, building them in layers or pieces with love and patience, welding them together in stages and refining them until they are finally patinated and polished. A process done by hand after being birthed in fire and the crucible of molten bronze. I have baptized my sculptures with powders of alchemist’s gold with an friend who wanted to know if they would fly once bathed in his amazing Elixirs… The Stone they say, gives weightlessness…invisibility, and the power to cheat time … and i have felt it myself…
The artist’s process, whether casting a bronze or creating a painting is Alchemy in itself when done with consciousness and dedication. I find it can be parallel to the process and stages of the Great Work… Passing through the Nigredo, the Dark Night of the Soul is what we all as spiritual beings must experience before we achieve the sublime synthesis; the Sacred Marriage; the union of Sun and Moon – our masculine and feminine sides – our ego
I started my studies in Alchemy with Frederic Lionel at Pir Vilayats’ s annual spiritual retreat in the Alps in Chamonix, France in my early twenties. My focus evolved into a deep study of astrology which continues to inspire me daily. All paths of spirit connect and lead to the same source.
The artist’s process is very internal. In one’s commitment to one’s practice as an artist or craftsman I feel one enters into the alchemist’s process in an internal way. This applies to all great artists, writers, musicians, dancers visual artists and fine craftsmen. The practice is our path and the artist himself is the Crucible. Modern times are amazing, but somehow technology makes things fast and easy but takes away from the slow process of distillation that is a part of what happens internally – in a slow organic process.
Miles Davis was a true alchemist with his music – as was John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane and further back, Charlie Parker. So many parallels exist – after pain and darkness comes the dawn of golden light. Their work stands as a testament to the human spirit, the flower of an amazing time. Jazz at its most proud is alchemy, expressed through music. I strive for it when I am writing a sound piece or lyrics to a song. I strive to make that seed of magic happen in the music I create. The music is a synthesis of the brilliance and spirits that are playing with me. We meld and jell and work off each other’s energy and when it works – it is like magic and I strive for that daily in life and in the art I make.
The way is fraught with all the dangers of a medieval Hell – many who seek the light get lost in the darkness … the painter Basquiat comes to my mind – screaming in his drug induced Nigredo with his painting, desperately seeking the Mystical Union that eluded him. The great Mexican filmmaker Jodorowsy takes us into that place and back in the realm of modern cinema.
An internal fire fuelled each brilliant artist and musician and poet we have known and lost. Van Gogh to Jimi Hendrix. An internal spiritual fire propelled them all and their creations remain as their Magnum Opus. Those who survived the deep internal process of the dark night of the soul have left their marks on our collective soul.
Perhaps the artist is the modern alchemist – the seeker who like a lone wolf braves the elements with both body and soul bare. Who dare stand alone and enter the fires of the abyss seeking the purity of redemption through their visions and dreams. They bring the ultimate gift of light and fire to man, like Prometheus, through the purity of their art forged through the discipline of their practice.
When we reach the expression of pure spirit – we reach grace, and that is what inspires us all, as humans.
Find Natasha here: www.natashavon.com