Austyn Taylor

Alchemist

ceramic, paint, graphite  
13 x 16 x 8 in

The piece “Magician” takes the Jungian idea of the “self” (similar to Joseph Campbell’s concept of the “hero”) and illustrates it as a woman adventurer. The adventurer (the woman on top) is on a forward focused quest for “magic” so that she may perform real changes in the fabric of reality. It is a woman riding her unusual instincts (the tapir) to journey forward into “unfamiliar territory” (the future/unconscious realms). Tapirs are adapted to the deepest darkest parts of the jungle and semi-aquatic; they have splayed toes, short trunks and eat raw clay to help digest their food. The tapir can go further than a standard horse could take her. The piece refers to an inner journey, to the depths which are difficult to navigate. The piece “Alchemist” is a similar concept. An alchemist is a more mystical version of a magician. While Magicians say “magic words” an alchemist’s power is more obscure so her face is obscured and the tapir (instinct) is the leader.

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