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Triptych series

Straiph Wilson Posted: march 25, 2020 / Modified: april 21, 2020
Triptych series
I am frequently asked about my art practice with a typical question “what does that mean”. I’ve broken it down into the three subject matters that you the reader might find interesting.
I should mention that I’ve developed my previous career in the field of behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology; this encompasses the study of biodiversity, including its origins, dynamics, maintenance, and consequences. I had a particular interest in risk-taking in animals. I was a technician. In essence, I was observing, looking in or kind of a shadow in the academic process. My artwork has finally allowed me to be the master of the experiment; I now have the power to distort these boundaries.

In ancient times they went from village to village seeking out the dead. Once found they were hired at funerals, to take it upon themselves the sin of the deceased, that the soul might be delivered from purgatory, thus absolving the soul of the person. He would pronounce “the ease and rest of the soul departed, ” for which he would pawn his soul and would typically be rewarded by consuming a ritual meal and drink, to magically take on the sins of a person or household.
Cultural anthropologists and folklorists classify sin-eating as a form of ritual.
The first seven Sin-Eater sculptures were based on the current seven deadly sins of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. I enjoyed exploring this figurative idea so much, it’s now become a tad compulsive.

In this series of work, each of the fungi sculptures have been inscribed with an individual ancient magical amulets’ sigil (Seal of the Demons) for invoking evil spirits. Taken influence from the first book Ars Goetia in The Lesser Key of Solomon, also known as the Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Lemegeton, which is an anonymous grimoire (or spell book) focused on demonology. It was compiled in the mid-seventeenth century from original manuscripts and fragments from the British Museum Library. It is divided into five books, the Ars Goetia, the Ars Theurgia-Goetia, the Ars Paulina, the Ars Almadel, and the Ars Notoria.
The challenge- Are you brave enough to smash the sculpture to release the demon to do your bidding? For instance, take Zagan on page 6. A fallen angel, the 61st spirit of Solomon. He is mentioned in the Ars Goetia as one of those entrapped by the king and forced to do his bidding. He is a king of hell who first appears as a bull with griffin horns then transforms to a man. In other texts, he is referred to as the president of hell.
Zagan can grant the gift of wisdom to foolish people – this is by making them witty. This is arguably his most important ability as cunning can be used to great effect.

«Survival of the fittest» is a phrase that originated from Darwinian's evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. Faced with the situation of “kill or be killed” what would you choose? Hashish is my interpretation of exploring the temptation that delves into the boundary that separates civilization from barbarism, the vertigo of losing your temper when faced with “kill or be killed scenario. My brother Jimmy has been in a Scottish jail since he was 21 for murdering a rival drug dealer with an axe after a drug deal went very wrong. He is now 49. He was involved in the importation of Hashish into central Scotland. I remember seeing a pile of these 1kg blocks of resin wrapped in plastic and covered with garlic powder in an attempt to throw off the smell from sniffer dogs. The fascination with the maker's gold and red logo. His proud stamp of authentication. (Page 3)

I am reminded of the saying “live by the sword, die by the sword” which is an idiom that basically means “what goes around comes around. ” More to the point, “if you use violent, forceful, or underhanded methods against other people, you can expect those same methods to be used against you. ”

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