“There is a shade, behind things, deeply present…”
Welcome to the progressions of a personal / impersonal hermetic inquiry – digging around, articulating inner whispers – the work of the Hermetic artist.
I was born and raised in Rotorua, New Zealand and spent a lot of time as a child amongst the hills, lakes and forest around that area. I studied Engineering at the University of Canterbury and left with a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence (thesis: A neurochemical model of the brain).
I’ve worked as an engineer, software developer, business analyst, and, since 2006, a psychotherapist, applying both a Gestalt and a Jungian perspective.
I studied art in the late 1990s first at COFA (University of NSW), leaving with a BFA, and then completing an MA (Hons) in Fine Arts from the University of Western Sydney in 2001 (thesis: An Inquiry into an Imaginal Landscape). This thesis examined the inner experience of landscapes using the lenses of James Hillman and other contemporary thinkers.
I exhibited in several solo exhibitions in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 2015 I began to focus my attention on Hermetic Art, and the esoteric in general, as a daily practice, and the fruits of this are the folios and word pieces from 2016 onwards. I feel this work is carried by a rich undercurrent that is deep and exciting. I’m eager to explore more of these poetic depths.
I know we must collectively find another way of engaging with this exquisite planet and this mysterious and limitless consciousness with which we are endowed, and I try to explicate such a way in my works.
The works themselves are watercolours, sculptures and digital images that become photomontages. I love the surprises that occur in bringing together elements of different mediums and sometimes from different time periods, to form a unified work that transcends the disparate elements and (hopefully) speaks of the unconscious depths from which it arises.
”…a view of art as a vehicle for the imaginative transmutation of the artist…”
“Modern hermetic art attempts to return to … ancient conceptions of the arts and the artist. It attempts, through all its forms … to repossess the magical powers of the imagination stultified by millennia of rationalism.” (A.C. Evans)
What I do
- I make folios – combining watercolours, digital art, photomontages of clay sculptures and found images, and more recently, word pieces.
- I see the folios as continuing the tradition of alchemical books such as the Mutus Liber, the Book of Lambspring, and the Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine.
- Most of my visual works are available for purchase as limited edition archival prints.
- You can read about some of the characters that appear in the four folios Tableaux, A Tale About Ore, a robe and dream tales.
- Over the years I’ve written word pieces. Recently these have become integral to the folios (see, for example, dream tales). This word piece, spiraland (2003), is close to a manifesto of my work now.
- I practice psychotherapy in Double Bay, Sydney, with Amanda Gruhn (my wife). See more about us on our joint site Therapy Duo.
- Find me on Instagram @ron.dowd.