Hazel Florez creates imaginary worlds that allow her to dispense with the logical and predictable order of things. Her paintings engage with the theme of metamorphosis and an engagement with the elemental forces that underpin a symbolic perception of the universe. Florez is influenced by the world of dreams, the subconscious and Jungian archetypes. Her paintings are rich in symbolism and explore a resurgent 21st century interest in the mystical arts of the tarot and the Kabbalah, and the esoteric tradition of visual references to Egyptian and Greek mythology.
Titled ‘Alchemystic’, Florez’s exhibition gathers the work of the artist from a two year period of productivity. The show contains 8 paintings from Florez’s Alchemical Transformation Series. This, when complete will consist of 12 panel paintings each showing a different stage of transformation, as listed in Paracelsus’ 12 operations of alchemy. Historically, alchemy was the medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of base metals into gold. However, modern authorship led by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung has used alchemy as a metaphor for psychological healing and psychic transformation. In the late 20th century, the 12 stages of transformation were used by psychotherapists as the foundation for the 12 step healing program for recovering addicts and mental health patients. During the pandemic, esoteric practices such as reading the tarot became widespread, even mainstream newspapers such as The Guardian have commented on the rise of the Tarot in the contemporary Western world, not necessarily as a form of divination, but as a process of therapeutic introspection. ‘Alchemystic’ aims to celebrate the mystery of the unknown and the unfathomable using myth and storytelling, and a desire to enter a world of re-enchantment, magic and visions of the subconscious in an age of disillusionment and anxiety.
Hazel Florez (b. 1984) is a UK artist based in a London Studio in Hackney. She graduated at Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh college of Art from the MA Fine Art program in 2007. She is currently represented by Bridgeman Images. She has exhibited with a number of London art collectors and galleries including, The Holy Art, The Tub Gallery, Purslane, and The Vacant Museum.