"Against the Tide / Contra la Marea”. 2023. Alchemy Art Lab at Candid Arts Trust. London. UK




Mai Nguyen Tri


Bart Jokiel

Uchercie/ Dizzyarticle


Taking inspiration from the speculative philosophy of Alchemy were it was believed that a transmutation of the base metals into gold can lead to the creation of the philosopher’s stone or life without death: We believe that the creative process mirrors the alchemical process.

For us creativity is where the mind, spirit and creator merge to produce something novel and transformative.

We like to think of our contemporary artists as alchemists; drawing parallels between political, social, scientific, holistic, anthropological, spiritual, racial, environmental and economic subjects into a spasmodic magnum opus of daily technological and audio-visual vertigo.

The endless search for the self or the haunting search for the perfect articulation of one’s ideas or concepts into physical form.

The four stages of the Magnum Opus programme mirror the four stages of alchemical transmutation and of psychological transformation.

They are Nigredo, Albedo, Citrinitas and Rubedo.

Carl Jung described these four as: Confession, Illumination, Education and Transformation.

Our Alchemical Art Lab will see 5 episodes based on the aforementioned alchemical processes, with Nigredo being the first one of this series.

In alchemy, nigredo, or blackness, means putrefaction or decomposition. Many alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher's stone, all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter.


In analytical psychology, the term became a metaphor for "the dark night of the soul, when an individual confronts the shadow within."

Curated by

Mircha Ivens

Laura Macij

Heena Song