“Salt” from the Azoth Series


Acrylic on archival paper
Image: 21 1/2” x 29 1/4”
Frame: 32 1/4” x 24 1/2” x 1 1/4”
Shipped framed

Ever since childhood, I have had a fascination with mystical symbolism as an invitation to decode the hidden meanings of my reality. Azoth was another word that Renaissance alchemists used for the “philosopher’s stone” — a mythical alchemical substance that promised both individual and collective transmutation to whomever managed to concoct it. The alchemists often used scientific metaphors to hint at cultural transformation. Azoth was said to be made of a mixture of salt, mercury, and sulfur.

Salt, depicted in this painting, is a buoyant mythical creature floating in water. The figure is in a pose based on the Runic symbol for the Sun (Sowilo), providing hope for those who are “lost at sea.” In the background, a storm is clearing to reveal the moon on the horizon. And the water has a translucence that reveals previously sunken ships underwater. The ship pattern is based on a childhood quilt that my grandmother made for me as a child. I created a bedtime ritual for myself where I would imagine that whatever part of my body that was covered by the quilt was already asleep. Starting from my toes I would slowly move the top of the blanket up to my neck, at which point I would be totally submerged in my dreams. The angular shape of the ships’ sails mimics the Runic symbol made by the figure. 

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Dimensions32.25 × 24.5 in


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