Dark Spirits: The Magical Art of Rosaleen Norton and Austin Osman Spare, Dr. Nevill Drury
About the book:
Although they never met, the Australian witch Rosaleen Norton (1917-1979) and British visionary artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) shared many points in common. As occult practitioners operating within the Western esoteric tradition, both artists were well versed in the literature of Western magic, Theosophy, kabbalah, Eastern mysticism, and modern psychoanalysis. Fascinated by mediæval magical grimoires, they also explored the ‘seals’ associated with elemental spirit-beings and developed unique forms of sigil magic. Perhaps even more significantly, Norton and Spare utilised their own personal techniques of self-hypnosis and trance in order to produce their distinctive visionary artworks. As this book demonstrates, there is a clear parallel between the trance states associated with the Zos / Kia cosmology of Spare and the trance magic of Norton. Profiling both artists in detail, and with in excess of 120 colour and black and white images, Dark Spirits explores the unique contributions of both Spare and Norton as visionary outsiders and is necessary reading for anyone interested in the nether regions of the magical psyche.
About the author:
Dr. Nevill Drury is an independent researcher and author whose specialist interests include modern Western magic, shamanism and visionary art. For many years he worked in the Australian book industry as an editor and art book publisher and in 2008 he received his PhD from the University of Newcastle for a dissertation on the art and magic of Rosaleen Norton. He now lives in Milton on the south coast of New South Wales and works as a full-time writer and occasional university lecturer. Nevill’s books have been published in 25 countries. Recent publications include Sacred Encounters: Shamanism and Magical Journeys of the Spirit (2003), The Dictionary of Magic (2005) and Stealing Fire from Heaven: the Rise of Modern Western Magic (2011). He is also the editor of the multi-authored Pathways in Modern Western Magic (2012).