As a practitioner of the “old ways/rites”, ritual is a fundamental aspect of my creative process.
My deep search for the truth started within myself.
On this very personal journey, I recognized the alienation I felt from my authentic Italian/Germanic heritage, as well as the importance in regaining equilibrium to my feminine and masculine aspects. These two aspects both influenced my understanding of the Divine.
It is therefore that I turn to the Veneration of the Goddess, to a devotion which spread throughout ancient and indigenous cultures. Through the evidence of artefacts left by our ancestors (e.g. Neolithic figurines of the goddess) which, to me, awaken a remembrance of the sense of beauty of unity, which has long since been lost: this beauty is a universal language that transcends boundaries and time.
In the ancient past, a mystical connection of the sacred feminine with the Cosmos and Nature was understood to exist - in, for example, the fertility of the soil, waters, caves, stars, and the moon- all of which symbolize the creative force of Women to me.
An extract from Carl Jung’s book “Psychology and Alchemy”, paraphrases the 15th century alchemist Basileus Valentius:
"The Earth (as prima materia) is not a dead body but inhabited by a spirit that is its life and soul. All created things, minerals included, draw their strength from the earth-spirit. The spirit is life, it is nourished by the stars and gives nourishment to all living things it shelters in its womb."
In my artwork, I aim to elevate all aspects of the feminine alongside the masculine - including the potent symbol of the Triple Goddess as Bride, Mother, Grandmother - to the sacred and sublime, through the language of symbolism – and in my use of colour, geometry, numerology and natural materials.
For my paintings, I gather earths and plants from sacred sites and wells, such as White Well-Glastonbury, St. Helen’s Well-Hastings, St. Margaret’s Bay, Dover, and Avebury, water being the symbol of unconscious and invisible life forces, the supreme unity of all life, past, present, and future.
I use ancient traditional methods in transforming these into pigments for my paintings. The painting process is for me, like a prayer, recalling subconscious images and symbols from my dreams also being directly led by the materials themselves.
Triplicity or “three-ness” is a recurrent element in my work within the geometric paintings and tile panels. A conversation exists between the duality of shadow and light, which when held and unified within the clay, extends its reach - in becoming threefold. This represents my conscious decision to move from dualism into unity by honouring the essence of the third aspect.
My desire to work directly with the earth led me to explore different clays and their properties. Working raw untreated clay with my hands and engaging with these organic materials, allowed me to feel the interconnectedness I was seeking - so that I began to move naturally towards the forming of vessels, by using the ancient coiling technique. My confidence grew, as I created three archetypal feminine sculptures with apotropaic qualities – that is to say, qualities having the power to avert evil and deflect misfortune.
I used copper patina, Copper is the metal traditionally associated with the planet Venus and its blue/green colour evokes and is reminiscent of the sea (mare/madre).
The process of transforming earthenware in the fire, together with the process of extracting pigments from natural materials, alongside my personal transformation and attunement to the original wise ancient alchemical ways, form the foundations upon which my work is based.
Nicole Frobusch is a multidisciplinary artist working in watercolours, mixed media , clay and textiles, in London U.K. Her choices of materials, methods and processes are an ongoing exploration of creating, in harmony, balance and connection to source.