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In the Third Garment, 2013, 1189 x 841 mm.  Mixed media collage, body fluids, ink, bleach, digital illustration and photo collage.

This large-scale illustration/photo collage represents the internal dynamics and phenomenology of alchemical processes experienced in the body during the artist’s esoteric practice. It functions as a diagram termed the ‘third garment’ which sets out how the internal flow of energies and emanations travel between various parts of the body to produce a transformative, erotic trance state. This is an advanced technique resulting in sensations of ‘magical flight’. The embodied prima materia of force and form is harnessed here within in a dynamic engine of self-pleasuring transmutation. The profusion of subtle force or psycho-physical emanations are channelled through a series of muscular, phallic pipes and lines of force.  As a blueprint for transformation, the practice is inherently subversive as it sets out how a woman can undertake and complete the magnum opus i.e., the alchemical ‘great work’ within an autopoietic, independent operation—a concept that does not exist in the Western magical tradition. This operation is brought under the auspices of the Egyptian goddess Isis, reflected in the quasi-Egyptian style of the decorative motifs.  Images associated with male and female bodies and their secretions are integrated into one figure in the collage and are given specific signification that disrupt traditional gendered attributions. The black, circular womb shape in the lower section of the diagram holds a self-generated drop of semen, symbolizing a diamond-like seed of transformation within its core.  The ovaries produce an active generative force and take on a phallic shape crowned with a golden aura. The various geometric emblems filled with red and white flesh are embedded in the figure to denote the conjunctions and transmutations that take place within the body, which produce sensations of sexual copulation during each part of the cumulative process. The body is interpenetrated by a series of starry fields which indicate the different gradations of synaesthetic sensations which are experienced as expanding from the body into space as the operation progresses.

       The combined emanations and sublimations concentrated in this gynandric, occult body are channelled and filtered through cup shaped breasts (the red and white textures that fill the breasts are created from scans of dried, sexual secretions and menstrual blood) to produce the pivotal transmutation in the heart centre, which produces the chrysopoeia or ‘alchemical gold’. These crystalised forces are transformed into a quadrat of ‘Phalli’ which penetrate the heart, producing a ventricular-vulval spasm which is instrumental in producing the alchemical key, the ‘gear shift’ that drives the motion of ascent. The internal kinaesthetic dynamics of this practice produce a loosening one’s normal perceptions of physical boundaries. The ascending ‘arrow of force’ directs magico-erotic impulses across a dark, starry veil of transmutation, where soma meets spirit and cosmos. One’s consciousness is propelled upwards through a coagulating golden net, an erotically charged phenomenological field which catapults the practitioner into a non-dual void, the initiatory abyss which lays beyond the Gate of Isis—shown by the red headdress dripping with blood-red drops of elixir.  

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