top of page

Sympathetic Magic
Ivester Contemporary, Austin, TX

Sympathateic Magic
Ivester Contemporary

This work centers around the Golden Bough, a tale from the Aeneid by Virgil (17 – 19 BCE). In the epic, Aeneas wishes to see the shade of his dead father, and a Golden Bough will allow him passage across the rivers and arched doors of the Underworld. The pieces in this show are my attempt to provide my daughter with a form of protection using sympathetic magic (magic based on the assumption that a person or thing can be supernaturally affected through its name or an object representing it.  Using the Underworld as metaphor for our current life, I am trying to ensure my daughter can venture through the Underworld and make it back out alive, and the Golden Bough will be needed to protect against thin air and empty dreams. Birds, oracles and plant life assist in this quest and Sappho’s poems (630 BCE – 580 BCE) deliver context for the inevitable fear. 


All the works in the show are subjected to a form of pressure or translation through print. Printmaking is explicitly connected to the body, not only in the physical force required to pull a print, but in its terminology. Bleed, kiss, spit, skin, bone, bite, are all common words used in the production of prints. The matrix (from the Latin for womb) is the essential structure in printmaking from which the prints are pulled, as my daughter was pulled from me.

bottom of page