Early Work (Canticles 1) 1991-1993

Exhibited at the Roundup ’92, 1400 Dupont, Toronto, ON

These works are entitled Canticles Part 1. A canticle is a hymn or chant, typically with a biblical text, forming a regular part of a church service. They deal with a process the Jungians call Individuation. In Alchemical terminology this process is called the Coniunctio. Other terminology may include Consciousness, Higher awareness… In most belief systems the Coniunctio happens in the deepest depression during the Nigredo or Dark night of the Soul, when you are at the end off your tether; then the coincidence of opposites takes place. The images of the body visualized in these paintings are the actual and the metaphorical sites of such a spiritual transformations.

The Alchemical belief systems, unlike other systems, does not exclude the feminine or the Body in the spiritual process. The Body is not something to rise above or deny, but is the meeting place of all Spiritual development. These beliefs were considered very dangerous (and perhaps still are) and so the writings and images are couched in highly symbolic verbal and visual language, much like the language of dreams.

My interest in Alchemy originates from a personal and artistic source rather than an institutional one. It enchants me and connects me to a historical language of the unconscious. The ideas embedded are resonant; they are magical, unknowable, visually resplendent and charged with mystery.

Tina Poplawski / Artist Statment