Pharmaka – Plants, Magic, Medicine

Inspired by the use of plants and flowers in herbalist medicine in both ancient and modern times I am continuing to develop this body of work. Initially looking at some old medicinal recipes from The Pharmacopea Londonesis and from medieval herbals, this led me to do further research. I have gathered visual information (sketches and photographs) in the Physic Garden at Falkland Palace, Fife, and at The Herbalist Garden in Angus, as well as in the countryside, about the plants mentioned in recipes and books I have been looking at. I’m interested in the idea that the plants may have both pharmacalogical/chemical healing qualities as well as energetic/magical properties, and the power of belief in the effectiveness of medicine.

Below you can see the compositions I have created so far. These are inspired by a recipe for immortality thought to be from from the Druids of Anglesey, a mind opening recipe called ‘Aura Suavis’ (Sweet Air) and by the pain killing properties of Willow which contains Salicylic Acid, the basis of Asprin. There are more details about how these compositions evolved in my Blog. I have prints available of ‘Diod Anfarwaldeb’ and ‘Aura Suavis’ in my shop . The original paintings are available from The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh and from my studio respectively.

Please click on an image to enlarge and scroll through the gallery.