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Alchemical Objects


Alchemical Objects


Wanda Wieser

How can sculpture explore the relation between the human and the non-human? Wanda Wieser's artistic practice investigates the relation between matter and meaning, alchemy and the corporeal power of geological processes and objects.

"My work is often inspired by research into alchemical imagery and tradition or geological processes. I have a fascination for the nonhuman and how it relates back to the human. Thereby I am interested in a conjunction of material (nonhuman) and mental (or inherently human) workings and processes, where one field is activated and inspired by the other and vice versa.

While working in a range of different media, from print and collage to video, I put a particular emphasis on sculpture. The materials used and their different qualities are a driving force in the development of the work. By investigating the materials various histories (natural, cultural) and aspects I hope to understand better how human beings relate to matter, it’s transformation and processes. Furthermore I am interested in the evocative powers of objects and materials and the correlation between the tangible and the intangible. Through an exploration of the material’s metaphorical and poetic potential and relations I hope to delve deeper, and point to the more slippery layers of materiality.

At the moment I am exploring ideas around salt: in alchemical philosophies seen as a microcosm, or a metaphor, for the idea of two distinct natures complementing each other, embodying ideas of contradiction and ambiguity. Salt preserves and corrupts, dehydrates, but is taken from the water, it binds and unbinds. In alchemical philosophy salt can be seen as symbolic of the physical body. Being a mineral that crystallised and gives form it is connected to corporeality. Moreover salt is contained in the human body and is a rock that human beings ingest. These multi-layered explorations around salt as a material as well as embodying concepts that relate to the human and existence are fascinating to me."

© 2015 Wanda Wieser


Wanda Wieser works in a range of different media, with an emphasis on working with sculpture, investigating into the materials metaphorical potential as well their cultural and natural histories. She is currently studying at the Royal Academy, from which she will graduate in 2016.