When I was sick last week I had a very high fever at one point and lapsed into a sort of delirium. Whenever this happens (rarely these days) I am transported to childhood illnesses when in the same state I ALWAYS hallucinated that I was in the Dr Suess Book “I had trouble in getting to Solla Sollew”
I was going scan the exact page but my multifunction printer/scanner/fax/copier machine died last week also and permission has not be granted to replace it (I could not answer “why do YOU need to print/scan/fax things?” satisfactorily). But the sensation is like drowning in huge, billowing, pink marshmellows.
So once I recovered a bit from my brain swimming about in confectionary, I becan to wonder what sort of images I might have drifted into if I’d had a bit of early art education rather than endless readings of Dr Suess (Yertle the Turtle is my favourite).
Well lets just say I am happy it wasn’t this
Which just made me think of artists hallucinatory experiences and their art. I have to admit I have not been party to chemically induced hallucinations (that I know of) but stories of artists and drugs are legend. Part of me wants to believe the experience and vision was gained while under the influence and then the art was done straight but how likely is that really? Of course the well known NZ example is my old pal
“Clairmont did not paint under the influence of drugs, saying they would have affected the intense concentration he required to complete his complex compositions but his subjects were often recreations of the altered world he experienced while in a drug-induced state” from Christchurch Art Gallery infosheet (pdf).
And more can be found on that topic in Chemical Evolution: Drugs & Art Production 1970-80 by Martin Edmond (1997).
Maybe we’d all be better of sticking to Dr Suess?