Prima Materia (2013)

I performed Prima Materia as part of the ‘Hungry for Art’ festival in Ryde.

For this performance I dipped my hand into paint and then allowed the paint to drip onto the canvas below. Periodically I would roll up the scroll at one end, covering up the paint, and unroll at the other end, revealing fresh paper, before resuming the drip painting. Over the course of the performance I created four scrolls, each with a different colour of paint. I started with black paint, followed by white, then red and finally gold.

Prima Materia (first matter) has different meanings in alchemy, ancient philosophy, and the psychoanalysis of Carl Jung. In alchemy the term refers to the starting materials of the magnum opus, the great spiritual work. The stages of this work are represented in my performance through the use of black (nigredo), white (albedo), red (rubedo), and gold paint.