The symbolism of this piece is quite rich, and in further researches I found out that I ended up making relations between all the representations without consciously being aware of it. The Chemistry is about inner alchemy and how the power of transformation manifests itself through Will. That’s basically my version of the ancient illustrations on alchemy in which we see a dragon-serpent “wrapping” a maiden. In my version, for artistical reasons, I decided not to draw the serpent involving the maiden’s body, but putting her closer to the background, and showing her body changing according to the colors of the environment – which are the colors of the four elements. The serpent is a representation of the unconscious forces of Will. The maiden raises from a pond (the beginning of all things, regeneration, new birth) that has been formerly muddy and still (the dark green color at the edges), and now is made clear by the power of fire (strength, courage, will, passion), or the dragon. A bunch of monarch butterflies come out the pond. The butterfly is one of the symbols of the Gemini sign (Mercury) and the classical representation of regeneration and rebirth. The maiden’s hair turns first into green grass from which 3 lotus flowers (another symbol of rebirth) arise, and then into fire. The dragon’s head show itself among the profusion of hair. The four elements are clearly present, in images and colors: Fire (dragon’s head, the top of the picture, the color red), Earth (grass and leaves, the color green), Air (butterflies, the color yellow) and Water (the pond, the color blue).
It’s part of our journey as human beings to face muddy waters throughout our life. But to remain stagnant in them is our choice. We all have the inner strength to being born again, to rebuild ourselves – we just need to accept the changes and look toward the future.
We are the alchemists.
colored pencil on bristol board
17 × 8.5