Plants, Magic, Medicine
Inspired by the use of plants and flowers in herbalist medicine in both ancient and modern times the content of these artworks come from old medicinal recipes from ‘The Pharmacopea Londonesis’ and from various old ‘herbals’. I gathered visual information (sketches and photographs) of the plants mentioned in these recipes in the Physic Garden at Falkland Palace, Fife, at The Herbalist Garden in Angus, as well as in the countryside around where I live, to inform my paintings. In these works I’m exploring ideas that the plants may have both pharmacalogical/chemical healing qualities as well as healing powers that go beyond that, of beauty, nature and art.
Below you can see: ‘Remedy for Breathlessness’, inspired by an old respiratory herbalist recipe containing Maidenhair Fern, Sweet Briar Rose, Agrimony and Coltsfoot. ‘Anti-wrinkle Recipe I and II’ inspired by a beauty potion containing Waterlily, Horsetail, Marigold, Cammomile, Strawberry and Teasel. ‘A Celestial Potion’ is inspired by an old recipe for rejuvenation including Lily of the Valley, Sweet Woodruff, Marjoram, Vervain and Purple Loosestrife. ‘Diod Anfarwaldeb’ is inspired by a recipe for immortality thought to be from from the Druids of Anglesey, and ‘Aura Suavis’ (Sweet Air) is a mind opening recipe, ‘Willow Ease my Pain’ is inspired by the pain killing properties of Willow which contains Salicylic Acid, the basis of Asprin.