This is the first work in the “Sigilla Magica” series representing an ‘animal’ spirit. In this sigil I combine mythology and folklore connected to the honey bee and pollinators in general.
In ancient Cretan civilization the honey bee was part of religious worship and priestesses, the “melissae” were named after it. There are depictions of half human, half bee-shaped spirits and fertility goddesses, hinting at an ancient bee and honey cult. The art of bee keeping was viewed as sacred. Bees were believed to have fed the infant Zeus in the Diktaean cave on Crete. On the other hand bees were also connected to the underworld and the dead, since bees would inhabit crevices in rocks and caves and the bodies of kings and other important persons were embalmed in honey. In Asia existed the practice of preserving the dead in honey for a year and then eating the honey. One superstition holds, bees were (along with lizards and snakes) carriers of ill omen and the evil eye. Hence amulets with beheaded bees were worn to ward off the evil eye.
Since I foster an own witch garden, it was only logical to create an atavistic artwork for the spiritual essence that connects all the insects, which pollinate my plants. After a visit to Crete and the archaeological museum in Iraklion, as well as reading Hilda M. Ransoms book “The Sacred Bee”, I felt all the more inspired to create small talismanic works with my own take on the topic. The sigil itself though is already a few years old and I originally titled it “Regina Bombina”, a reference to the divine and royal nature of the bee.
In 2018 I created 4 drawings with ink on a coffee- and honey infused paper. The paper sigils are signed and dated on the back. They are mounted on a black cardboard passe-partout and come in a black cardboard box, which is signed and numbered. Along with the artwork you also receive a 30 ml bag of “Necroneiromancy” incense.
Artwork size: ca. 9 x 10 cm, passe-partout size: ca. 12 x 12 cm
The candles have been lit, the incense has been burnt; now my work vibrates inside of Berlin art gallery CIRCLE1 until December 23rd. Thanks to Avi Pitchon, who invited me to take part in this group exhibition, alongside renown international artists from Israel and Palestine!
What started as a simple idea years ago, has accumulated into a complex installation. Succeeding years of studying the plants first-hand and a rediscovered love for ink, suddenly things fell into place. It was preceded by searching and researching, sowing and growing, loss and gain via the very basic and earth-bound occupation as a gardener and harvester.
The installation is hence titled “Harvest“. It consists of an earth altar with dried plants and harvest related offerings: self baked bread, honey from the neighborhood and self-made beeswax candles. The souls and spirits that were contained in the once alive, now dead corpora of the plants, find a new house in the form of fetishistic ink drawings: the “Sigilla Magica” series.
With these new forms I found an own language, in which I seek to both entertain and communicate memes to the viewer. Twelve ink drawings reference eleven magical plants. A twelfth refers to the bee queen, “Regina Bombina“, governing the vital interaction between plants and pollinators. In addition, two anthropomorphic drawings depict the aconite and mandragora in half-human form, namely the armed and poison-dart struck “Wolf Shaman” and beheaded and re-headed “Regina Amandrakina” accompanied by her freakish offspring. Finally, two complimenting botanical studies of the roots of the aconite and mandragora act as a bridge between abstraction and realism and explore the individual and fascinating shape of each in detail.