Lady Voodoo is the convergance of a shared belief in the transformative powers of ritual and invocation as experienced through shamanism, witchcraft and meditation. Artists Cybele Cox, Ali Noble and Helen Shelley consciously employ magic in their art practises; they turn one thing into another. Not simply earth into ceramics, paint into pictures or fabric into wall hangings. But dissonance into resonance, death into immortality, and despair into solace.
Cybele Cox’s ‘magic’ is realised through the metamorphosis of objects dissassembled and recombined with ornamental ceramic configurations. Cybele says ‘I am concerned with the reconstruction of a mythic prehistory. Witchcraft, hallucination and the ornamental substrata of art suggest another reading which may reveal the repressed feminine; the existance of another symbolic order based in the omnipresence of the mother; both as nuturer and destroyer, creator , dissassember and reassembler of the materials of life’.
Ali Noble’s process offers alchemic possibilities, whereby cutting, gluing, and sewing invoke reinvention, renewal, and re-presentation of her reality. Ritualistic and repetitive actions bring focus to confusion, and comfort to anxiety. ‘My creative process is characterised by a spirit of transformation and reparation. Action and creation. A strong maternal (my mother was a seamstress) influence is revealed through my preoccupation with fabric and its latent sculptural possibilties.
Helen Shelley’s practise explores the means by which her art-making integrates the departed into the present. Helen coined the phrase ‘Magical Particle Transference’ in reference to a transcendent experience when her father died. She had a vision of ‘tiny colourful specks of light emanating from my father’s body that were then subsumed by my own. The vision was at once transcendent and exceptionally comforting. At that moment, I sensed that my father as I knew him, a living, breathing human, continued to live but in a different form. In my mind, he was deemed omnipresent and thus he had been immortalised‘
Borrowing what they like from existing modes of spiritual inquiry, combined with intuition, and a good dose of ‘making it up as they go’, these artists create idiosyncratic sites of resistance and refuge. Lady Voodoo optimisitically extols the virtues of DIY for the spiritual seeker.