Ithell COLQUHOUN The daughter of a civil servant in India, Margaret Ithell Colquhoun was born in Shillong, Assam on 9 October , but was. In the foreword to Ithell Colquhoun’s strange alchemical novella Goose of Hermogenes, Peter Owen paints a vivid picture of the writer and artist. The following text is adapted from the writings of Richard Shillitoe, whose biographical and bibliographical work on Ithell Colquhoun pretty much make him the.

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Here will be heard the Voice of the Academic, and also the Voice colwuhoun the Practitioner, the native of the some- times alien, sometimes intimate, spaces of the Esoteric.

Ithell Colquhoun

Retrieved from ” https: Ithell Colquhoun Abstract sketch [c. Surrealism was and is not a style, it is a philosophy, and a worldview. We can hypothesize that women associ- ated with Surrealism had their own interpretation of the hermaphrodite, and the work of Claude Cahun might be of interest in this regard Ades, Surrealism, Male-Female Ithell Colquhoun Doodle on scrap paper [c.

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Unknown person s Surrealist painting by Gillian [Cece] [c. The degree to which genuine occultism was an influence in the wider Surrealist movement is debatable.

Following graduation she travelled widely in Mediterranean countries, painting many watercolours of scenes in Greece and Corsica.

Art UK has updated its cookies policy. Garstin was also the secre- tary of G. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Surrealism in England, and Afterexh.

Ithell Colquhoun Richard Shillitoe – Goose of Hermogenes

Colquhoun and Cornwall During the s she spent increasing periods of time Cornwall, initially purchasing a very primitive building in the Lamorna Valley. Thames and Hudson, In the s, Kthell works were experiments to explore consciousness and the subconscious.

On reading them, they are not so much found poems as invocations and rituals to be done at cardinal points using Egyptian symbolism, and reflected her love and abiding interest in the Golden Dawn system of magical practice. Despite these parallels, Colquhoun broke with Surrealism in rather than sacrifice her interest in the occult. Today, we might call this Goddess Spirituality and it colquhouj become an inspirational metaphor for many women.


Colquhoun then emerges as a nexus of all of the major occult currents of the 20th century. Although Colquhoun had romantic liaisons following her divorce, in many ways she never fully recovered from that relationship, and it also marked the end of her public engagement with the wider Surrealist movement.

Even then she challenged perceptions about the themes and activities proper for an older woman, and continued to pursue an uncompromising vision. Significantly, the painter commented upon Ades’s article by noting ‘ Scylla in my view is primarily a feminine symbol but I suppose one could see it as phallic as well’.

Another draft letter among the painter’s papers, shows that it was very soon sent to New York with an exhibition of Surrealist paintings organised by the painter Gordon Onslow-Ford.

Although she was unsuccessful at her attempts to become an initiate of Golden Dawn at an early stage, the Golden Dawn system of magic was clearly one of her guiding principles, and she wrote the influential account of the Golden Dawn magicians, The Sword of Wisdom, published in She had considerable powers of imagination, a strong sense of colour and a natural drawing ability. The best known of these is Scylla – belownow in the collections of the Tate Gallery.

‘Scylla’, Ithell Colquhoun, | Tate

Wikipedia entry Ithell Colquhoun 9 October — 11 April was a British painter, occultist, and author. Until this time, Ithell was much more integrated into both Modern- ist and Surrealist art and literature communities in London, but by the s her focus had shifted. ScyllaTate has a bay which can be read as two legs. Real lives are behind these words and each one has a voice to contribute.

One could theorize that this was so because of the emphasis on the Bard and divine revelation within Celtic traditions, which would have been consistent with her Surrealist practice.

Pathways in Modern Western Magic. This incident had a devastat- ing effect on Ithell Levy Ithell Colquhoun Penwith Society of Arts first exhibition catalogue Dreams were a very important source of imagery for her, but most of her visual art was colquhou not highly representational. Here, Colquhoun creates a narrative through highly coded alchemical tracts, but even without that background the tale can be read on a number of levels. She created thousands of pieces collquhoun visual art, wrote, published and performed hundreds of poems, wrote several novels two of which were unpublishedthree travel guides one of which was unpublishedradio dramas, commentaries, and quite a large number of esoteric-related essays.


Colquhoun did take some art courses, but she was largely self-taught. However, she had a common pattern of studying the curriculum earnestly, only to be frustrated by the lack of knowledge displayed by senior members of the order in question.

Dolquhoun source of automatic images in Surrealism was not believed to be spirits, but the psyche itself releasing repressed desires and impulses.

Her strictly magical essays proliferated and she also had success in publishing her spiritual and mystical travel guides, Crying of the Wind an experiential guide to Ireland, and also The Living Stoneswhich is probably one of the first Earth Mysteries guides to Cornwall. During the s she spent increasing periods of time Cornwall, initially purchasing a very primitive building in the Lamorna Valley.

The right of authors as listed in the table of contents to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, Another colour-based project, the Decad of Intelligence, was created in and featured a series of poetic sephirotic Kabbalistic meditations paired with abstract enamel colour studies of each sephirah.

Inthe scholar Amy Hale noted that Colquhoun “is becoming recognized as one of the most interesting and prolific esoteric thinkers and artists of the twentieth century”. She was prolific with just about everything she did. While this geometry has been imposed on the original image, its purpose seems to be twofold. This accommodation, which lacked electricity and running colquhou, could only be inhabited in the summer months.

Magician Born of Nature’, and webmaster of www. Unknown person s Painting by D.