UNUS MUNDAS - Art Exhibition

  • Eden Gard

this piece is a round transmutation circle consisting of oil paint, black ink, various homemade watercolour dyes made from boiled down plants, mushroom spores and pressed flowers. The writing on the piece details the reproductive systems of different plants and the symbols are mostly alchemical in nature, representing different aspects of human nature, along with the male and female symbols. Near the centre there is the ‘Tria Prima’ (the three fundamental elements of alchemy), along with the sun at the top representing true enlightenment. These all surround the transgender symbol in the centre which itself contains the symbol for the philosopher’s stone, the alchemical substance that allows transmutation of different elements. A symbol I created of the joining sun and moon is also on the piece; this comes from the sun and the moon representing the male and female archetypes and their conjuncture, there are also various LGBT symbols within the work, such as green carnation flowers and the pink triangle. I created this piece from inspiration of Carl Jung’s and Andre Breton’s Philosophical theory of human nature and achieving the perfect self by fully realising the male ‘Anima’ and female ‘Animus’ parts of the subconscious. Jung studied alchemy and claimed that ancient alchemists by practicing the science of transforming and refining materials were in fact mirroring this process internally, refining their own conscious self and realising their Anima and Animus. The process of creating this transmutation circle is my attempt of recreating this process for myself in order to realise my own Anima/Animus and perfect self. The plants and natural substances that are contained within the piece are drawing on the hermaphroditic nature of flowers, and in particular how flowers with completely functional Stigmas and Stamens are referred to in science as ‘perfect’ flowers. I am drawing on existing elements of nature in my work to create this spell and also build on Jungian theory of a collective subconscious that links all parts of the universe, suggesting a connection between the human concept of gender and the different sexes in the worlds flora and fungi. This concept exists in Alchemy also and is what the piece is named after – ‘UNUS MUNDAS’ – one world.