The Alchemical Imagination
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90 minutes every Sunday at 4pm PST from October 4th – November 22nd, 2020
$222 – $333 sliding scale
Playbacks of each session are available for later viewing.
Over the course of the “Alchemical Imagination” we will use metaphors derived from ancient alchemy to elucidate deep structures in the creative imagination, using alchemical symbolism as a springboard to expand our own creative capacities. Together, we will look at alchemical texts and images from the healing practices of ancient China and India, the early chemical technologies of ancient Egyptian alchemists, the philosophies of the Islamic alchemists, the astrological symbol system of the Greeks, the Medieval magicians of Europe, C.G. Jung’s discovery of alchemy as a basis for transpersonal psychology, and modern alchemical art and literature.
During each session we will look at one alchemical text, one alchemical procedure, and one example of alchemical application in art practice.
Participants will be required to produce an art piece related to alchemical processes each week: this can be writing, drawing, performance or contemplative practice. At the end of seven weeks, we will show one another our work, and exhibit work online on the Golden Dome website.
In the end, we will have an understanding of how to apply methods of alchemical change-work to our creative processes so that we come into contact with our own “philosopher’s stone.”
We will not be learning the entire history and practice of alchemy, which would take many years, but rather looking at it from select angles to create openings and transformation in our creative lives.
Participants will have access to a shared folder that contains texts and images from each session.
This class is suitable for anyone with any type of creative practice who would like to learn to open it up both physically and metaphorically.
“The Alchemical Imagination” is facilitated by Eliza Swann, and is a condensed version of a class that she teaches at the Pratt Institute.
Eliza Swann is an interdisciplinary artist, intuitive, writer, educator, and community organizer based in Los Angeles and New York.
Eliza received a BA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MFA from Central St. Martins in London. She has trained in hypnotherapy at the Isis Centre in England. Additionally, she has trained with a number of teachers in energy healing, Western Mystery traditions, Vedic cosmology and ancestral healing.
Eliza has exhibited her artwork internationally, most recently at the University of California Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA), and the Women’s Center for Creative Work (Los Angeles, CA). She has received grants from The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and PEN America.
Eliza has guest lectured at UCLA, the Hammer Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, Central St Martins, Cal Arts, the Dia Museum, the New School and many more venues and is currently a Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute.
Eliza has contributed critical writing to BOMB, Arthur, Contemporary Art Review LA, and Perfect Wave Magazines. Her book “The Anatomy of the Aura” was released by St. Martin’s Press in April 2020.
Eliza is the founder of The Golden Dome School, a curatorial and educational platform that studies intersections of art, metaphysics and ecology.