:: Salviaspace Project 2004-08 & 2013-14 ::

salviaspace logo

In late 2004, I discovered the Mexican entheogenic herb salvia divinorum, and to my surprise - and despite many reports of its unrelenting strangeness! - I found that the surreal visionary sensations suited me rather well. I began working with the plant in some depth, on visionary/shamanic as well as artistic/creative levels, and for around four years I fell into the rhythm of holding a small salvia ceremony every Friday, come rain, shine or in one case, Christmas! I also kept detailed visual and poetic records of my experiences, which eventually ran to some nine folders of sketches and over 300 sketches and compositions. My intention with salvia was always to go deeper as an artist, and to this day I credit my many visionary journeys with salvia with helping me to develop my unique artistic aesthetic. Indeed as I wrote in 2006:

"I have consistently approached this project as an artist - it's been quite tempting sometimes to change that approach into that of a shaman, or entheonaut, but that would be dishonest. And La Maria always encourages honesty first. And my intention? When stepping onto the salvia road, an intention is essential. Mine has been to seek knowledge, to have the internal barriers of my self and my artistic identity broken down and reformed in the presence of realities which do not present themselves 'outside' of the salviaspace. I have aimed to reflect this in my work..."

Paint    Lights    Channels    Spiral    Smoke    Split    Leaves    Frozen

:: Gallery of art from 2004-08 - click on the images above ::

The original 'salviaspace' project was a multimedia initiative: as well as sketches, drawings and paintings, I produced two albums of 'salvic' music, entitled 'salviasonics' and 'salviasongs', as well as several short animated films and a wealth of poetry, and much of this was accessible online via the original website. One of the songs - Nujun Xca Maria Yun - can be heard below. Some of the rest may still be available via the Internet Wayback Machine's Archive of the old Salviaspace website.

What is visible here is a selection of a few of the best images from the art archive, including silver-on-black sketches, a few early paintings in gouache, and three large-format digital images which were printed onto fabrics. Each of these expresses some aspect of the salvia experience, although the emphasis in this selection is on the visionary, as opposed to the tactile and electric, or the strange temporal and bodily distortions somewhat characteristic of salvia divinorum.

Deeper    Walking    Leaf    Pods    Lost    Stuck    Two

:: Gallery of art from 2013-14 - click on the images above ::

In late 2008, my salvia usage began to decline rapidly, without being a conscious decision: looking back I now realise I had 'got the message' and decided to move onto visionary pastures new. In late 2013, after a hiatus of five years, I returned briefly to working with salvia, with the specific intention of returning to a few memorable visionary images, to re-evoke and re-experience them so as to produce a handful of new works, of which the 2013-14 gallery is a representative selection. Some of these are accompanied by the original sketches from the 2004-08 archive.

Since that time, I have refrained from working with salvia, but she - the spirit in the plant - remains an influential foundation and an immanent presence in all my work since those early days and I remain profoundly grateful for all the weird, wonderful and mindblowing experiences and teachings that she granted me during our many years of travelling together. Amazingly, even though I have stopped journeying with salvia, she still has the capacity to make subtle but surprising appearances in my life so many years later. For example, during recent travels in Colombia and holding ceremonies with coca, I found I was experiencing gentle but clear visions: the indigenous people found this unusual, but I ascribe it to the continuing visionary presence of salvia in my heart, facilitating visions whenever and wherever she feels it is the right time to do so!

nújun xca maria yun,
xca maria santa yun,
tsingacun xca rë ndava yun,
xca maria santa jyë yun,
xca maria santa naja yun...

you, leaves of maria, you speak,
you, holy leaves of maria,
you teach, leaves of light,
you, most holy leaves of maria,
you, our holy leaves of maria...

salvialeaves

 

 

Copyright (c) 2002-2018 Bruce Rimell : All images, artwork, and words on this site
are copyrighted to Bruce Rimell and may not be reproduced in any form unless stated otherwise.