Edited by Gina Buenfeld,
Martin Clark
Published by
Camden Arts Center
232 pages
16 x 23 cm
ISBN 9781907208942

Price: 210 lei

Authors: Bernd Brabec De Mori, Gina Buenfeld, Martin Clark, Emanuele Coccia, Stephan Harding, C. G. Jung, Terence McKenna.

Artists: Eileen Agar, Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Sarah Angliss, Consuelo "Chelo" González Amézcua, Gemma Anderson with Wakefield Lab and John Dupré, Anna Atkins, Kirk Barley, Jordan Belson, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, Karl Blossfeldt, Carol Bove, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Kerstin Brätsch, Hildegarde von Bingen, Andrea Büttner, Adam Chodzko, Ithell Colquhoun, Bruce Conner, Brenda Danilowitz, Das Institut, Mirtha Dermisache, Minnie Evans, Cerith Wyn Evans, Charles Filiger, Robert Fludd, Monica Gagliano, Giorgio Griffa, Brion Gysin, Friedrich Wilhelm Heine, Ernst Haeckel, Anna Haskel, Tamara Henderson, Channa Horwitz, Textiles from the Huni Kuin (Kaxinawa) people, Joachim Koester, Rachid Koraïchi, Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Yves Laloy, Ghislaine Leung, Linder, Simon Ling, Michael Marder, Agnes Martin, André Masson, John McCracken, Henri Michaux, Matt Mullican, Wolfgang Paalen, Paul Păun, Stefan A. Pedersen, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Steve Reinke and James Richards, Edith Rimmington, Adele Röder, Daniel Rios Rodriguez, Rupert Sheldrake, Textiles and ceramics from the Shipibo-Conibo people, Penny Slinger, F. Percy Smith, Janet Sobel, Philip Taaffe, Priscilla Telmon and Vincent Moon, Fred Tomaselli, Delfina Muñoz de Toro, Alexander Tovborg, David Tudor, Lee Ufan, Scottie Wilson, Terry Winters, Adolf Wölfli, Bryan Wynter, Henriette Zéphir, Anna Zemánková, Unica Zürn, artists from the Yawanawá community

The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and The Cosmic Tree looks back through history at diverse cultural, spiritual and mythological traditions to reappraise the importance of plants to life on this planet. The exhibition presents an extraordinary array of artworks by over 70 surrealist, modern, visionary, outsider, indigenous Amazonian and contemporary artists, spanning more than 500 years. Through the symbolism of diverse cultural artefacts and the works of mystics, artists and thinkers around the world, The Botanical Mind reveals how the vegetal kingdom has metaphysical importance to the development of consciousness and spirituality.

Drawing on esoteric ideas from alchemy and the western occult tradition, this exhibition relates the fractal geometries that appear in plant shapes and patterns to the ancient metaphysical belief in terrestrial life as a microcosm of the universe – the celestial expanse of the macrocosm. Many of the works in the show revolve around the concept of the Axis Mundi (World Axis) or Cosmic Tree, a universal archetype that appears in the symbolism and mythologies of numerous cultures connecting the human condition to the physical and transcendental universe. The Botanical Mind investigates the secular and spiritual aspects of plants, their ongoing significance to human life, and how we engage with and activate them in culture, counter-culture, art and music.

This richly illustrated publication includes essays by the curators and contributions from scholars on the key themes of the exhibition – alchemy, art history, plant ontology, Gaian ecology, anthropology and ethnobotany – unifying philosophical, scientific, spiritual and artistic approaches to meditate on the cosmic significance of plants in different worldviews.