Tag Archives: mandrake

New Artwork and Music

4 Aug

Spent the night and all morning preparing new pieces of paper with coffee, wormwood tincture and fresh leaves from my datura plants. Now the paper is drying, then has to be pressed and then can be drawn on with ink. I am planning on a small series of inked sigils and perhaps one or two realistic datura plant drawings. Besides this, I yet have to prepare the paper for my next mandrake series and I also have a few new tinctures in the making. Meanwhile, here are my most recent ink drawings from past weeks (all sold and shipped):

While working with the datura I was blessed with new music by a lady, who creates audio-visual compositions inspired by the same plants that I grow and revere in my art. The project goes by the name CHTHONIA. I was given six tracks, to which I did not listen consciously, but rather had them running in the background. Yet there were moments, where I’d listen up and think, “well, this strangely harmonizes with how I perceive the plant’s character”. A very interesting experiment and endeavor, of which I hope we will soon hear more.

Mandrake Family

11 Apr

Family
These three were once conjoined as a single root. Sadly after the winter I noticed the tissue at the top had become soft and started rotting away. I decided to dig them out and safe what was left. They’ve been drying for 3 weeks now and thus far looking good, still almost as fleshy as on the photo.

Mandragora officinarum plantlets

Small mandrake plants from a German seller, arrived today. I quickly unpacked and watered them. They currently reside in our veranda, where they have evening sun, and seem to be doing well thus far. The leaves keep growing. I will wait with repotting until they withdraw their foliage.

Mandragora Flowering

26 Feb

Mandrake Flowering

Vernal mandrake shooting forth plenty of flowers, in fact surpassing all previous years. It’s an utterly delightful sight! But still too early for bees or other pollinators. I may have to jump in…

This is my last of the vernal variant, all the others are autumn mandrakes, which flower in autumn and resort to an underground existence after christmas, usually showing no sign of life until the next fall. Even though I saw one of them is sprouting anew… I wonder if that one manages at last to actually flower at a time when the temps and light conditions are suitable.

Me and the mandrakes… an endless story to be continued.

Another photo of the plant in its current state of glory… those fresh leaves that look like salad (but are really very poisonous thanks to a variety of alkaloids) may soon extend to half a meter length.

IMG_0502 copy

Btw. I’m working on Regina Amandrakina prints…

Pillars 1.III – The Ebon Kteis

27 Jan

Pillars 1.III Pillars 1.III

Today arrived my contributor copy of Pillars Journal 1.III, The Ebon Kteis, which contains my very first published essay and where I delve into the concepts and personal motivations behind one of my artworks. The topic is inspired by the many question I keep receiving about the Mandrake and is titled Regina Amandrakina – Exploration of the Image and Strange Idol. So now all those, who asked me questions, receive here 11 pages food for thought (and of course everybody else is welcome to read this as well, because it’s a heart piece and will help you understand how and why I do what I do!) (;

I immediately started reading and, as with the previous Pillars issues, this one has become again a masterpiece of editing and type setting! It’s obvious there was put again a lot of thought into the editing and arrangement of the different contributions. Photos, art and texts by different authors come together and compliment each other seamlessly. Also the line breaks and paragraphs of written contributions are arranged thoughtfully. Besides this the bronze print on the cover compliments the vibe and aura of this tome just perfectly.

“‘The Ebon Kteis’ is a journey back into Darkness; somber in tone than its older siblings and aiming to be more of a visual feast to inspire Minds & spark the Sacred Flame Within.”

But it is not only the visual side that is utterly appealing about this publication. Anathema has specialised in bringing together artists, occultists and lonesome wolves, which, as different and individual each of them may be, share a mutual vision and idea of truth and searching. And there is another interesting aspect that emerges once you skim through the pages. The topic was given, but each contributor works independently and usually there would not be much interaction, yet each piece of art and writing seems to harmonize with the other, as if led and guided by the same spirits. This is the subtle magic of Pillars, which strikes me with each new release.

This issue is the last in the series (though a new volume, with different outfit is planned). There are once again 230 copies available, half of which have already been sold. So better hurry, least you’ll have to spend ten times as much, once the sold out publication ends up on eBay!

Pillars 1.III – The Ebon Kteis | out January 2015 | www.anathemapublishing.com/

 

Antiquarian: Aus dem Reiche der Drogen, 1926

7 May

Stumbled upon this book a few weeks ago at an antiquarian bookshop in Dresden and swore to myself if I returned and sold some stuff in the meantime I’d buy it. Turns out I did!

The book is from 1926 and published by Schwarzeck-Verlag Dresden. I was surprised to find such a publication here. It contains valuable information and references to the earliest herbals from the 15th century, which thanks to the invention of the letterpress printing were for the first time available to a larger audience, especially as they were not in Latin but in German language so that the common man could understand and use them. These books were richly illustrated with delicate woodcuts depicting each plant. Both pharmacology and botany would develop quickly during this time and soon would follow similar herbal books in other countries such as Belgium, Italy and England.

The first chapter gives an introduction to these early herbals of the “Middle Ages” and their authors, such as Conrad von Megenberg, Otto Brunfels, Leonhart Fuchs, Hieronymus Bock, Petrus Andreas Mathiolus, Konrad Gesner, Tabernaemontanus etc., as well as illustrators, who designed extraordinary woodcuts for these books and publishers. Guess what, it wasn’t easy to publish a book at a time when there were no laws yet on coyprights so that reprints occured still within the same year and neither the original publisher nor author could do anything about it. To this add competition and price dumping amongst publishers once a larger number of similar books was available… Wait, that all sounds familiar doesn’t it? Even today… The authors describe all of this quite vividly and so this short discurse on the first herbals ever printed is a pleasant read, spiced with examples and quotes from these very first books on plants and their alleged medicinal properties. Simultaneously we learn how the first volumes on botany and pharmacognosy came into being.

As I cannot go into detail on each chapter I will instead just list the titles for reference:

  1. The Herbals of the Middle Ages
  2. The Doctrine of Signatures
  3. The art of distillation
  4. The spice wars
  5. The cultivation of drugs in Germany
  6. The China-Bark
  7. The Liquorice
  8. The tropein-containing Nightshades
  9. The Strophanthus
  10. The noxious and innoxious types of Strychnos
  11. The Elder
  12. The Indian Hemp (Cannabis indica)
  13. The Yohimbe bark
  14. The Guajacum tree
  15. The Sarsaparilla root
  16. The Shepherd’s Purse
  17. The Rhubarb
  18. The Aconite
  19. The Opium
  20. The Cantharides

I have not read through all of the 272 pages but whenever I skim over the text I find something new and interesting, which I have not read elsewhere. This book contains plenty of interdisciplinary references and I am glad to have bought it.