Thursday, 17 April 2014

Threads of Time - my personal Alchemy

Finally another post.
I have been working on and off on my Threads of Time project amongst other things.
So here is a little update on my progression.
During one of our meetings for the project we visited the archives storage rooms at HALS.

Lots of storage boxes and interesting old looking books.

This got me on to the idea to use a 'storage box book' I bought at TK Maxx and alter it into something 'alchemical'.

I purely bought this box because of it's picture, as it has such a powerful and emotional meaning to me. Any picture with a bicycle on it reminds me of my daughter Kiama. She loved France and was planning to cycle with her friends from London to Paris, after their graduation in 2012. As she sadly died a few weeks before, her friends decided to do the bike ride in her memory and scattered some of her ashes from the Eiffel Tower.

Although the box will be fully covered and no one will see the original decoration I know it will be there, like a secret message from my daughter telling me to keep on transforming my grief into something creative. My personal alchemy, if you like.

The inside is full of text, which prompted the idea to somehow use the pictures I took from the handwritten documents on alchemy and astrology and line the box with it, like this page.

It is written in French and refers to the 'Elixer of Life', an alchemical solution equivalent to the Philosophers' Stone, which would bring eternal life.
I will show in another post the process of what I did with the photographs.

I had decided to alter the inside into a kind of Alchemical Curiosity Cabinet, so I spend a considerable amount of time searching charity shops, my own 'found object' draws and keeping an eye focused on 'alchemy' where ever I went.
Here are some of the curiosities which will be included:

I love keys, especially old ones, they are such a strong symbol for keeping or unlocking mysteries. They can be precious and you are very fortunate when you are giving one that opens doors to the most unimaginable spaces, where you can discover the secrets of life itself.
I was given this one as a present from my friend Kate, who is very talented and successful as an artist/maker/illustrator. For me this key symbolises friendship and unlocking my own talents and creativity.
The cute little bottles I found in a bead shop in Covent Garden will be filled with things representing the 7 metals, used in alchemy: lead, tin, iron, copper, mercury, silver and gold.

Some vintage bottles I found or actually bought in a lovely vintage barn shop at Battlers Green Farm near Radlett. Well worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood.
I also want to create a few miniature old looking books to go onto a shelf in the cabinet. The little book here belonged to Kiama and is full of 'Positive Thoughts', which may have, in part, inspired her 'My Bucketlist'. I want to give the cover an 'old' makeover to fit the overall look.

The little Balsa wood cabinet was a 'must have' from a craft shop, a cabinet within a cabinet, it will present my spiritual journey through meditation, for me the true alchemy.


Gina said...

Lovely to read a post from you Catherina and I can't wait to see this project when it is finished. It is going to be amazing.

Paula W said...

This is a wonderful project Catherina. I'm looking forward to seeing your amazing imagination and positive spirit transform this box xx