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The Alchemy Codex

Ferguson, Adam (2021) The Alchemy Codex. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

Fire. Water. Earth. Air. The traditional elements of Greek antiquity are commonplace within society today, existing with various forms of media, existing as spiritual components of various cultures, and as symbols. The four elements were widely believed for centuries to be the building blocks of the entire world, and countless philosophies and ideas emerged surrounding them. Though the theory of the four elements comprising all matter would eventually be proven to be entirely false, the cultural status of the four elements has withstood the test of time, becoming household representations in a wide array of cultures. These depictions have shaped and inspired my viewpoint of the four elements, and what they mean to me personally, allowing me to utilize the symbolism of the four elements for my current body of work. The Alchemy Codex is a series of eight large-scale figurative oil paintings, each interpreting one of the classical elements to create a narrative piece. Alchemy has played a significant role in the history of the four elements, being seen as the building blocks of alchemical creation, and in this universe the elemental beings are creations of alchemy. Each element is depicted in both a male variation, and a female variation to signify the duality of the elements and their relationship in the elemental hierarchy I have created. The body of work is completed by utilizing classical painting techniques derived from academic painters from the 19th century, and draw visual inspiration from these paintings alongside a host of modern illustrators and concept artists. By comprehending and utilizing the historical importance and symbology of the four elements to create my own personal mythology, I have created a body of work that signifies the relevance of the four elements both within our society and to a personal degree.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Divisions: Radford University > College of Visual and Performing Arts > Department of Art
Depositing User: Adam Ferguson
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 01:36
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2022 16:07
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/706

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