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Abracadabra drawings Artist Sand Laurenson
The Making
Artist sand laurenson Abracadabra Drawing Series One Eyed Woman No.4

Whenever I am away from the UK the least I take with me in materials is an A4 drawing block so that I can sketch and brainstorm whenever I need.

I started making circular drawings that became Abracadabra in 2017 whilst staying in Cambodia. Over the following 5 years, I completed many drawings and when I was looking for a way of showing the works as an entire collection I decided to use the ‘Abracadabra’ symbol as a base for the works.


While completing drawings, both the ones shown here and others, I have set up makeshift ‘studios’ at various times in many different places and cultures, often producing work taken directly from my environment. 

Like an abstract snapshot, all carry an influence of my surroundings and what was going on around me at that time, the colours, light, people, and places, along with my memories, moods, and thoughts.

Most were completed whilst traveling through 2017 - 2020 and at home during the worst of the COVID years, taking 5 years to complete in late 2022. Since then I have been playing about with different ways of showing them This is the first time the complete collection has been seen together.

About this work

Abracadabra Collection by Artist Sand Laurenson MA(RA) 2022 Abracadabra Drawings as prints
Why Circles?
Deeper Well Abracadabra drawing series No.31 Artist Sand Laurenson

Why Abracadabra?

In these drawings, I am using the well-known Middle Eastern word and the triangle talisman of ‘Abracadabra’ as it is familiarly represented

as a framework for showing my 66 drawings.

Abracadabra’ is a fascinating phrase that has lasted for 1000 years (maybe more) over much of the world. This symbol with the word decreasing as it reaches the final letter, appears as simplicity and yet is complicated and ancient in its meanings. 

Here are some theories on its source:

* It’s from the Aramaic phrase avra kehdabra, meaning “I will create as I speak”.

* The source is three Hebrew words, ab (father), ben (son), and ruach acadosch (holy spirit).

* It originated with a Gnostic sect in Alexandria called the Basilidians and was probably based on Abrasax, the name of their supreme deity (Abraxas in Latin sources).

Through these works, I continue with a circular and spherical motif and signifier as seen in much of my work. 

I am interested in the universal connections that exist through symbols, archetypes, and patterns.


The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, and all cyclic movement. As such, it speaks of birth, growth, decline, and death.

It implies this 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, and the great rhythm of the universe.

In Jungian psychology, it indicates the end of the process of individuation, of striving toward psychic wholeness and self-realisation. 

The circle is also the antithesis of the much-overused square.

The Abracadabra series is a work in progress and has been since 2017. The project will be complete when all the manifestations of the work are shown as part of the Sussex COASTAL CURRENTS ARTS FESTIVAL from the first weekend in September. You can see a selection of the series at St Andrews' Mews and purchase works.

Certain works are available to buy now, please see click the image below and enquire for further details here.

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