I start the dream off walking down a moderate incline of a rocky hill, around mid day in my hiking gear. As I approach the bottom I encounter a scattered group of people walking up the hill towards me. When I am close enough to see there faces I notice they are looking back at me with a kind of fear and extreme nervousness. I turn my head to look behind and I notice a couple of grizzly bears that have emerged from the trees and are descending the hill. They are 100m away and I start to run down the rest of the hill until I stop at a rock outcropping where I placed a few things. One of the objects I pick up is my Aeron office chair.
In the next part of the dream I am inside a building carrying my Aeron office chair up a flight of stairs until I arrive at a cave-like inner room that has light emanating from above on the back wall area. A group of people stand in this dark space, close to one another, looking towards a stage at the back wall. I enter the room and walk up to join them. Moments later, I see a black panther emerge from the left side of the stage and descend slowly down a few steps until it joins us at the same level. We are not afraid of the panther and the panther’s body language demonstrates a familiar comfort with the group. As it pauses and meanders so to does its long tail until it finally rests in a spotlight at the base of the stairs.
Soon after a few people from the group walk up to her and caress her back; she purrs and gracefully moves her tail and rhythmically narrows and crops her eyes like a cat. She exudes a kind of primal royalty we are welcomed to interact with. I also remember seeing patches of gray fur on her back as she lay on the floor. Some time passes and the royal cat rises and gracefully ascends up the stairs and slips into the darkness on the right side of the stage.
The presence of “grizzly bears” represents an instinctual/primal energy that emerges from the unconscious. Unable to process this surge the artist retreats to “a scattered group of people”. Later, the dream continues to a “cave-like room” where “a group of people” are in the presence of a “Black Panther”. A few of the people “caress her back” however the artist watches from a distance. The narrative structure of a conception dream, the sperm represents the artist, as the Black Panther represents the egg, as the cave is the womb. An active imagination exercise with his Homeopath reveals an underlying fear of being rejected by the sacred feminine.
Fear provides the impetus for the art piece and the intention is to complete the gestalt of the dream and overcome the stuck point of the psyche. Moment of Conception is painted in watercolour and divided into a sequence of square frames that capture the sperm/egg dynamic in utero. Four columns subdivide into three rows , the first row depicts a group of sperm moving in the darkness, the next row situates sperm in close proximity to an egg until a single sperm separates from the group; the final series marks the explosive rupture and entry of the chosen sperm. The last square captures the sacred union and for the artist is ritualized as a drop of blood mixed into the paint.
Like weft-faced weaving, of tapestry, an essential quote needs to complete the work and in due time, a condensed passage from a Jungian text serves as the last ingredient.
“The Sages will tell you that two fishes are in our sea without any flesh or bones. Moreover the sages say that the two fishes are only one, not two; they are two, and nevertheless they are one. Book of Lambspring.
It would come to my attention, Book of Lambspring is an alchemical text published from the Musaeum Hermeticum by Lucas Jennis in the seventeenth century. A short work known for its fifteen emblematic plates, an alchemical website describes the work as, “Its verses point to the soul and spirit involved in the alchemical transformation and its fifteen emblems are evocative symbols of these inner processes”. Hermetic seal applied, Moment of Conception realizes a succession of life changes.