The Garden of Fernal Delights is a paradisical otherworldly universe imagined as a beautiful garden that has been collectively created by Liba Waring Stambollion, Gromyko Semper, myself and others for an international publication of Visionary Art and poetry entitled 'The Encyclopaedia of Fernal Affairs'. As part of this project, and tangential to it in places, I have created several artworks along with song-cycles of mythology and poetry, and an invented language, called Fernalese, which is slowly coalescing as a work of art in itself.
The Fernal World exhibit here is my personal vision of this Garden, springing from my own meditations, visionary experiences and inner wanderings into what this notion of fernal really means. Some of this vision differs wildly from the other co-creators of the project, other parts of it resonates deeply, and this wonderful variation of ideas underscores what Liba says: “Everything is possible in the Garden...”
For me, the Garden of Fernal Delights is a sublime and paradisical place where all the delights of the natural world and of being human, from the sexual to the surreal, the visionary to the instinctive, are celebrated as natural behaviours and perceptions of being alive. The Garden is a place with no evil, no notion of sin, no hierarchy – it is a place of magic, of play and playfulness, where madness turns to wonder and everything that was once seen as cursed or infernal is returned to the light of this strange world.
In this exhibit, then, can be viewed five dual-image artwork icons of the Fernal Cosmic Powers, and two icons of Lucaion and Afer, respectively the Queer Fernal hero who set the heavens in order and the Fernal Creatrix whose song animates the entire Fernal Cosmos - further artworks relating to the Fernal Cosmos can be seen in the Visions 2014 section. The Fernal Songs themselves narrate the mythforms. The 'Tiarzecatar' (Thirteen Songs) are an account of Fernal Creation wiuth a profoundly primordial and sexual dynamic, while 'Lucaioncatar' (The Song of Lucaion) explores the interactive exploits of a queer-identified hero. Other song cycles are planned but these will be shorter than the Thirteen Songs or Song of Lucaion.
Unifying everything in this vision is a word from the Fernalese language which, for me, forms the perceptual basis to everything fernal. The word is fer - pronounced roughly like 'fair' - and it can mean everything from 'pristine, verdant, paradiscal' to 'sexy, attractive, lithe'; it can refer to the colour green, to grow or be healthy, to feel sexually aroused or horny, and even as a signifier for the whole of nature itself. This is a linguistic experience I feel we can all learn from and I hope as you view this fernal exhibit, you too become infused with the spirit of fer!