Artist Residency: The Magic of Things by Lisa Talbot

What is it about objects, tools, and things we humans are drawn to? Why do we collect, covet, work with, sentimentalize, hold on to, and display them? Do they have a life of their own?

I believe natural and man-made objects most certainly do have a life of their own. They interact and play with people and other things. They have power and energy, and that is why with some objects, even in their seeming meaninglessness, we pour meaning into them. Some objects have meaning for their function, others for their symbols, and still others for the material they are made with. In this work, I want to look at magical objects.

copyright Lisa Talbot 2021

Magicians use objects in ritual, spell casting, healings, altars, divination, learning, alchemy, and other magical works. What are the tools of the magician? How do these tools work, and how do they work together? Do these tools need to be admired and looked at for their own sake, or are they purely functional? If we believe that energy is in everything, then one could say that all energy can be and perhaps should be pushed around and moved to keep it fresh, clean, and energized. For that purpose, objects need attention. They need devotion, care, cleaning, love, and acknowledgment like anything.

Objects are force becoming form and, like words, have power in what we do with them and how we make them. This is why it is essential to consider what you put upon your altar, what you hold in your hands during ritual, and what objects you surround yourself with when you work, play, sleep, love, and so on. Every object has a specific energy signature and resonance, perhaps this is easiest to feel with crystals as they are old and their signatures are deeply embedded, but we can also put energy into objects as we form them and make them. This is why a magical object like a knife differs from a bell or a cup. The function and purpose are different, but the maker’s shape, material, desire, and intention affect each object’s energy signature.

copyright Lisa Talbot 2021

This is my inspiration, as I continue to work upon and understand these ideas.

To honor the magic in the objects themselves, I will be working with them and create still-life photographs working with and highlighting the things of the 22 Teachings School of Hermetic Science and Magical Arts – from the temple space, to the school altars, to the healing room, the mercantile, and so forth.

This will be a six-month residency from Sept to November, and continue Jan to March after we return from Egypt. With each weekly visit, I will start my day with various rituals, meditations, and spells and ask to be guided to the objects I will use that day. I may bring in some fabric, flowers, and fruit to add to the still life and then may leave the flowers/fruit as offerings for Lodge the next day. I will close the day with LBRP.

I will share images as I go via IG, and then ideally, this will become a book,
and prints.

Please see Lisa’s work here:

and at

All photographs above from her recent work “Vinitas”