I am happy to announce that starting this autumn 2023 I will be 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, and creating a version of his remarkable ‘Eidophusikon’ mechanical theatre. I will also be curating and writing a graphic novel ‘Reanimating the Mystagogue’ on the life and work of Loutherbourg, his occult practice, his friendships and his life in 18thC London.
The research will be the foundation of an eventual biography of Loutherbourg.
My talk about Loutherbourg on SHWEP (the Secret History of Western Esotericism podcast) with Earl Fontanelle
Works by de Loutherbourg: