THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE came from the first generation of golem paintings. My family and I were just starting our relationship with the land, learning how things grow, and the strange alchemy of soil in homesteading venture.
Remember the Sorcerer’s stone from Harry Potter? Sorcerer/Philosopher/Alchemist stone, many names, same stone. By legend, it is a bright red stone capable of creating wealth and even eternal life. It seems an oddly redundant myth. a striving for synthetic shortcuts to reproduce what the soil already provides.
Very quickly, the land taught us how our “fast-food” expectations had bent us from understanding the slow time and care green agriculture requires. Earth must be lived with over time to understand its waters, its winds, and its growth.
Images of St’ Jerome from the Baroque period traditionally displayed a half-naked old man, in the dark wild. There he was seeking to clarify his mind from the illness of the city and self, to find his wild God in the company of stone and lions. Jerome of the wild would become the scholar to translate the Hebrew and Greek scriptures into what was then the common toung of Latin. I found an opportunity to reimagine Jerome’s transformation through this old sock-doll golem. Though in this case a scholar translating the rediscovery of a simple agricultural treasure.
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