04.10.2017 - 27.10.2017
Ornamental Hallucination is a glimpse into the cave where the Sibyl Sphinx presides. This is an enchanted kingdom, with sphinxes, hybrid animal/human forms, revelling in the connection to the divine, the psychic function of our ancestral selves.
Sybil Sphinx is a hybrid creature, a blend of all attributes, lost to this modern era. She sits like an animal because she is connected to her instincts. And while her limbs and torso are male in physique, she wears a medieval styled armour of feminine glory; five boobs hang from chainmail, two female faces; one on each shoulder as a protective padding. The crowned satyr head, symbolic creature of the woods, the human/animal archetype; is an inspired reveller. She squats like a frog, reminding us that our animal resides in the bodies posture.
In building this monument I’m attempting to evoke an ancient mystical icon that resonates with the collective mythic imagination, with the same potency as Virgin Mother Mary has been in the last thousand years of western religious worship. She is however a more empowered deity. Active, connected to nature, to sex and to the psychic mystical realm.
Unsure, as many people of today are, of what to believe in, I am incarnating a venerable feminine prophet. The Sibyl is a guide and a seer. When she speaks to the seeker, she speaks to their soul. People sought long journeys by foot in the ancient world, to the hidden caves of her subterranean kingdom, in search of her council, or to dedicate their book of spells to her or to dwell enamoured in her enchanted grotto.
Ornamental Hallucination is setting the stage for a new religion to be built upon, new values, to recapture the collective imagination into an invisible realm infusing hope and love with communal sharing and reverence of hybrid bodies, of the sexual omnipotence within nature, fluidity of identity and acceptance of the ambiguity within the self.
Cybele Cox’s art is an enquiry into representations of women that is part of a larger research-project, which seeks to re-invoke occult practices of an imagined ancient past. She makes the proposition that magic and ritual have been dismissed by the secular nature of Western society, which overlooks the importance of the spiritual realm and altered mental states. These large symbolic totems playfully evoke the rituals of paganism. The style comes out of a drawing practice, inspired by Greek mythology, Baroque architecture and ornamental design, with depictions of unconscious imagery. Her work proposes a return to occult, as a reflowering of the spiritual.
She is an interdisciplinary artist, working across sculptural media and installation as well as painting and drawing. In the last few years her practice has centred largely on hand-built ceramics, using the coil method.
Cox undertook this year an exchange at The Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and exhibited at the annual Rundgang and later at Aa Collections in Vienna. She has shown in solo and group exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne and 2018 will be her first major show at a Regional Gallery in Lismore. Cybele Cox is graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Sculpture from Sydney College of The Arts later this year.