I’m interested in how how mystery is transmitted to us, and much of my art is focussed around this theme.
I came to thinking that if crystals have the power to influence our lives, then it follows that precious stones could too. That’s the idea behind the astrological idea of birthstones, which are precious stones assigned to different zodiac birth signs. Gemstones are often harder, clearer and forged at much greater temperatures than your day-to-day crystals, so their significance in astrology made sense.
But what were the ways in which precious stones – birthstones – might transmit mystery?
To get feel for this, I began by drawing the underlying facets and matrices within gemstones, particularly low-light diamonds. Then I started adding colour to these matrices in photoshop. This seemed to suggest astrological space, so I started to incorporate some of the beautiful images from the ESA-Hubble telescope within my drawn birthstones, allocating galactic clusters within particular zodiac signs to particular gemstones.
This is obviously a highly esoteric topic – but then that’s mystery for you. The most prized gems are those that perfectly refract light; ancient Egyptian astrology has it that cosmic significance can be read via the interplay of light within crystalline structures – so perhaps birthstones are a way of reading these mysterious runes.
Today we see gemstones as valuable based on their transmission of light – the purer, clearer the stone, the greater its worth.
But if light is a gemstones’ specialty, perhaps astrology passes through a stone along a similar path.
Diamonds are the most highly prized because their sparkle is unequaled. The ancient art of cutting stones is predominantly about angling cuts to increase a lights passage towards our eyes.
So to draw the light in a gemstone becomes drawing the passage of significance, and that’s just what my artwork is trying to depict.
One of my studies on the interior workings of a topaz. By looking at how a gemstone is structured, I hope to be able to follow the path of light – and by doing so, perhaps understanding something about the way astrological mystery is transmitted to us.