In this series of drawings, I am using a well known word as a framework for my ideas. Each drawing is a small but intrisic part towards the whole, a letter in the incantation and a step towards completing the triangle of the Abracadabra symbol. There are 66 letters in the traditional triangular amulet presentation of ABRACADABRA. (read more about this talisman below)
Each letter will be represented by a drawing and I will complete all 66 images. By the end of 2021 I intend to have a body of work that if seen together would measure approximately H65 Inches / H165 cm across going down in 6 inches / 15cm increments to arrive at the last 6 inches / 15 cms. ( depending on aspect).
The total work comprising of all 66 drawings will also be available as a composite print. I want this work to reach as many people as possible, as individual original drawings but also as open and limited edition prints so that they can be collected and added to over time by anyone that relates to my ideas and these images. This is all part of the magic for me as an artist..... for the word ABRACADABRA to casts it's spell around the world as art.
Some of the drawings were made between 2009 – 2019 on my travels and were completed in response to the different cultures and colours I experienced along the way using locally sourced inks and paper. each new work will mention where it was made and how.
Others are inspired by or taken from my previous works, paintings, drawings, sculptures and digital. I intend to add something new to each of the works, they will be drawn or painted upon, changed in some way to a lesser or greater degree.
This continues to use of historic works to create the new..my ideas of transformation, redemption and connection by taking my work through another process to become more than it was, to consolidate and emphasise the idea by adding to the palimpset of meaning already contained in each work.
As such, these little works have become become condensed and compressed into the essense of the idea, returned to and resucitated, another mark in time onto thier making and from my history. A circle around a moment, a punctuation mark in my conversations with my ideas and work and a marker in my life.
In these drawings I continue with my circular motif and signifier as seen in much of my other work.
The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement,
It implies an idea of movement but stillness too, and symbolises the cycle of time, the perpetual motion of everything that moves, the planets' journey around the sun , the great rhythm of the universe.
The circle is also zero in our system of numbering, and symbolises potential, or the embryo. It has proported magical value as a protective agent.
In C.J.Jung pyschology the circle indicates the end of the process of individuation, of striving towards a psychic wholeness and self-realisation.
The circle is the antithesis of the much overused square which is decribed as the lowest state of man who has not achieved inner perfection. The circle standing for the ultimate state of Oneness as the Circle of Necessity: birth, growth, decline, death. It is also considered by many from the beginning of human spirituality as a defence against chaos, formlessness.
Because of my empathy with these ideas it makes creative sense for me to make each part of the Abracadabra talisman as circles.
i have completed a number of drawings in this series which will be uploaded on a regular basis.
Available soon, Giclee method Limited Edition prints.
All limited edition prints come with a
Certificate of Autheticity.
Open edition prints will also be available.
See available works here
Thank you for looking.
Abracadabra is of unknown origin, and its first occurrence is in the second century works of Serenus Sammonicus, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Several folk etymologies are associated with the word from phrases in Hebrew that mean "I will create as I speak" or in Aramaic, "I create like the word" (אברא כדברא)
There are folk etymologies that point to similar words in Latin and Greek such as abraxas or to its similarity to the first four letters of the Greek alphabet (alpha-beta-gamma-delta or ΑΒΓΔ).
The first known mention of the word was in the second century AD in a book called Liber Medicinalis (sometimes known as De Medicina Praecepta Saluberrima) by Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman Emperor Caracalla, who prescribed that malaria sufferers wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of a triangle.
It was used as a magical formula by the Gnostics of the sect of Basilides in invoking the aid of beneficent spirits against disease and misfortune.It is found on Abraxas stones, which were worn as amulets. Subsequently, its use spread beyond the Gnostics.
The Puritan minister Increase Mather dismissed the word as bereft of power. Daniel Defoe also wrote dismissively about Londoners who posted the word on their doorways to ward off sickness during the Great Plague of London.
The word is one of a limited set of words that can be typed in its entirety using the left-handed side of a QWERTY keyboard!