I am happy to announce that from autumn 2023 I am Artist and Researcher in Residence at the Swedenborg Centre, the locus of the Swedenborg Society in London.
I am researching the 18thC painter, stage designer and VFX artist Phlip James de Loutherbourg. Loutherbourg is the ‘missing link’ between art and cinema. A stage designer who developed the first ‘mechanical’ theatre show aimed at delivering a sublime ‘proto-cinematic’ experience, Loutherbourg was also a serious alchemist and occultist.
The Swedenborg Residency will involve my researching this little-known but tremendously influential artist, his occult practice, his friendships and his life in 18thC London.
I am working on the following projects:
- Creating a version of his remarkable ‘Eidophusikon’ mechanical theatre.
- Writing a graphic novel ‘Reanimating the Mystagogue’ on the life and work of Loutherbourg,
- Writing and producing a play, Apologia, on the life of Loutherbourg’s friend Alessandro Cagliostro
The research will be the foundation of an eventual biography of Loutherbourg.
You can find me at
20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH
My talk about Loutherbourg on SHWEP (the Secret History of Western Esotericism podcast) with Earl Fontanelle
Works by de Loutherbourg: