Tanya Slingsby - ARCANA
ARCANA, eludes to a secret or mysterious knowledge and language. This body of work acts as entryway into a mystical dialogue on the natural and eternal realms - our human experience of them and the emotional and spiritual states that result from the communion. These works are my own explorations of universal existence and connectivity. ARCANA is comprised of three distinct groups of work.
The TARU series is a new strain of investigation into the enigmatic powers of the natural world through romanticism, alchemy and obscurity. The 'taru' or trees are representations of the micro and macro systems of life-the infinite weft of cellular energies . These forces are enduring and everlasting through cycles of birth, life and death. Acting as mirrors for our souls and bodies, they reflect our own illusory identity and mortality within the immutable, all connecting cosmic energy. I have investigated these themes in the complexions of abstracted colour over several years, however this series has forced to deepen my engagement beyond the emotive and spiritual capacities of colour proper and attempt to capture these feelings using a representational subject in a monochromatic palette.
The SHILAA, or 'stone' series is an abstracted investigation into the essence of stone as well as a reflection on its role as a central symbol within the mystical terminology of alchemy. The philosopher's stone was used to symbolize perfection, enlightenment, and heavenly bliss. For millennia, stone has been paradigmatic of immutability, eternity, and the sublime.
In these works the various forms of stone as texture, colour and composition suggest to the viewer was of seeing its awesome abstruseness and power. Using uncommon substrates as media and incorporating them into my process the SHILAA series explores the timeless, mysterious forces of stone as it interacts with the ethereal elements. My representation of this grounded steadfast element at play with its more celestial counterparts creates scapes of universal and ancient sattva, or purity in balance.
The MANDALUM, or 'circle' series also investigates the semblance of all-inclusive, cosmic unity. From the life-giving solar orb, to the emotionally charged moon mate who sees to the flow of spiritual life, the influence of stellar circles informs and defines our psychic blueprint. The sacred microcosmic chamber of the circle immersed within the infinite void are manifold expressions of nature, humanity, and celestial bodies. The all-pervasive circle, with its essential fertility, opens our ray-like awareness to take in the expansiveness of the cycles of life, nature, and time itself. It is a dynamic mirroring and transgression of perception. In Alchemical traditions, the circle is God, whose centre is everywhere, and circumference is nowhere. In this work, I find the tenets of ancient magic and modern physics continually suffuse each other - their history positing perception at a liminal state on the threshold of the cellular and the infinite.