An installation work, with voiceover from the Aurelia Occulta (Theatrum Chemicum, 1659), a text dealing with aspects of Mercury, or mercurius, one of the most important and intangible of all alchemical concepts. A consideration of the mercurial nature in us all, and a mysterious encounter with feathers. Within alchemy, the rising of the spirit vapour from heated mercury was often depicted using images of feathers. Quicksilver, cinnabar, the winged messenger, Hermes: this is a vaporous spirit, elusive and hard to grasp, the aerial principle of flight and disembodiment.
Runtime: 32m (in installation format)
See it on Vimeo: Mercurius
Produced as a two-projector site specific installation at The Haining in Selkirk, as part of the Moving Image Makers Collective Beyond the Shutter exhibition in 2015. The gallery walls were covered in feathers from my years of collecting, from many different bird species. In the centre of the room a single peacock feather was suspended above a fan, with a live video feedback camera trained upon it, connected to a projector. A second projector showed the main feathers film, Mercurius, projected at large scale on a wall with surround sound.
Available screening formats:
Two channel installation (with live camera) or single channel video. Source format: Apple ProRes 422, 1080p.
Credits: Camera, editing and sound recording: Richard Ashrowan. Voiceover by Lawrence Robertson.