mugwort


A list of Instability

Trace of a spell; text
Fragile Protocols; text
Mugwort papier-mâché beads (made specifically for each enactment)
Pamphlet printed on transparent paper (made specifically for each enactment)
7 invisible elements (selected specifically for each enactment)
Everyday ritual
Encounter
Event

 

Shadow Concept
The Celtic fire festival of Imbolg is most commonly celebrated on February 1st or 2nd and marks the first sign of Spring. Lingering in the dark, in-between moments of the exhibition,The place of its taking place brings papier-mâché beads made with mugwort together with nine invisible elements (which glean their powers from the herbs, balsams and resins of the season). Perhaps if a bead is slipped into the shoe or pocket it enhances one’s ability to sense the unseen. Feelng it close to the body might provde useful protection both to the wearer and to the building itself - keeping the elves and other wicked creatures at bay.

Invisible elements: Herbs, balsams and resins of the season
dried sage
cypress
ginger
sandalwood
violets
myrrh
frankincense
benzoin
snowdrops

Conditions of use
The spell can be used for any art exhibition or event that occurs at Imbolg. Imbolg is believed to be the day that Cailleach - a vastly ancient and powerful Goddess replenishes her firewood for the remainder of Winter. The spell should be used in the full knowledge that Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) is considered a sacred herb of Artemis, Greek Goddess of the moon, the hunt and chastity. Mugwort is associated with psychic powers and journeying from the material to the magical world. It is sometimes used for divination and astral projection. Its supposed magical properties are believed to promote vivid and prophetic dreams (which also can be nightmarish).

Identifying when Imbolg occurs
The timing of Imbolg (also known as Candelmas and Brighid’s Day) sometimes is guided by signs other than the calendar: some suggest that the blackthorn should bloom at Imbolg, others that the snowdrops should have pushed their way through the snow. Traditionally associated with the onset of lactation in ewes and other livestock, the festival is associated with milk and other special foods. It is a festival held in recognition of the return to warmth and the increased power of the sun and as the time when light begins to pierce the gloom of winter.

Fragile Protocols
Work with the curators and artists of the exhibition to gain deep and powerful knowledge of the artworks and the curatorial feel.

Identify the dark, in-between moments and spaces of the exhibition. Usually, these are not static entities.

Carefully select paper for the papier-mâché beads. The paper can be blank, and drawn upon, and printed.

Carefully select a number of leaves from a mugwort plant. Talk to the plant and apologise for taking its leaves. Dry the leaves.

Make the papier-mâché beads and wrap dried mugwort leaves around the bead.

Carefully select the invisible elements.

At the opening of the exhibition allow the invisible elements to be sensed and offer guests a bead to put into their pocket or shoe to aid the journeying around an exhibition at Imbolg.

Everyday performance and encounter at The Dark Rooms
The place of its taking place: the trace of a spell to aid journeying around an exhibition at Imbolg was made by for The Dark Rooms curated by Jesse Leroy Smith at the Passmore Edwards building, Helston, Cornwall. 2nd and 3rd February 2013