This image was inspired by Samuel Coleridge and his opium dream. I have interpreted this event as an opium dream, in-turn the opium inspiring one of the classic poems of Romanticism and a testament to the effects of the other worldly inner-space realities brought on by shifting normal consciousness via opium (Anodyne).
Most modern critics now view "Kubla Khan" as one of Coleridge's three great poems, along with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel.
Coleridge explains how the poem came about in his preface to 'Christabel':
'In the summer of the year 1797, the Author, then in ill health, had retired to a lonely farm house between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and Devonshire. In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from the effects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in 'Purchas's Pilgrimes:' 'Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto: and thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall.'
The Author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence, that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awakening he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone had been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter:
Then all the charm
Is broken—all that phantom-world so fair
Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread,
And each mis-shape the other. Stay awhile,
Poor youth! who scarcely dar'st lift up thine eyes--
The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon
The visions will return! And lo! he stays,
And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms
Come trembling back, unite, and now once more
The pool becomes a mirror.'
Monotype & Epigenetics
A series of monotypes using rock pigments collected from the seaside town of Watchet in West Somerset, U.K. and colours only available through industrial means. This explores ideas on the Anthropocene Age and our interventions with the landscape, extracting and re-introducing materials after manufacturing.
The series explores working collaboratively with the material and approaching the work through not having any pre-conceived idea before making the marks. The pigments are made into printing ink using medium and applied to the printing surface with a large pallet knife.
The proposition explored in this particular practice is the exploration of the space between initial chemical release in the mind towards thinking and the act of action before fully forming an idea in the mind. The action of the mark is made quick and direct to the surface, capturing the muscle action from the unconscious thought - seeing if it is possible to build layers of pre-thinking into an image to reveal something un-affected by any form of concept or conceptualised idea.
Through working with the material I am exploring an area I am becoming more involved with concerning epigenetic memory and inter-generational transference of memory revealed through the marks we leave behind - in this instance through the marks made in response to material, surface and action.
Handmade Printing Ink for Natural and Industrial Pigments on Cartridge Paper, Seawater from the River Severn obtained from a hole left by a fossil hunter in Watchet.