Stef Will

Stef Will

• 17 January 2023

Sigil drawings

After a (much-needed…) break after completing my masters, I will try to start writing more again – yeah … (?)  I am hoping that these texts help put my work into context, as there is so much research going on in the background that I would love to share.

So, today, I thought I’d write about my sigil drawings. I have drawn more than 500 now, below are some examples. I started drawing sigils last year, after re-discovering and becoming fascinated with the concept behind them (I became aware of sigils some years ago, but then forgot about them), as it ties in with my interest in the unseen. Let me explain.

As you may know from seeing my work, I am really interested in investigating the unseen, which includes (amongst other subject matter) invisible energy fields surrounding the body, appropriating the algorithmic gaze to make certain energy fields assessable to the human eye, consciousness in relation to the physical brain, altered states of consciousness, energetic entanglement etc etc. The latter is a physics phenomenon, in which two particles, once they have become entangled, remain energetically connected even when separated by large distances.

Sigils fit very much into this interest, as sigils come about from working with energy. My sigil drawings are appropriated from the practice of magic. I am sure any self-respecting witch or wizard reading this will be mortified about my way of explaining the concept behind sigils (sorry…), but they are essentially visual symbols ‘storing’ certain intentional energies.

There are no doubt countless ways sigils can be created (and are used in magic rituals), but a sigil is essentially a representative image embodying the practitioner’s intended outcome. The way I create sigils, I gradually condense a hand-written thought or intention (in a highly focused, meditative way – essentially in an altered state of consciousness), until there is only an abridged fluid gesture left. So, in the collection of examples below every ‘scribble’ was once a sentence or expression.

Each super-condensed mark is a trace of movement deposited on paper, as a sediment of my motor memory. But despite the ultra-abbreviated nature of the gestural left-over, each mark still contains the full energy, and the complete content and value of my original thought or intention. Through transformation of this intention, via (initially) hand-written letters, into an undulating line, my original thought was transposed into a graphic symbol, bringing a new allegoric reference into being.

All sigils are originally hand-drawn with archival Japanese black ink on paper, before being photographed and digitised, as it is only through the digitisation of the manual drawing, which obliges them into the surveillance of print, that the gesture and with that my original thought, is irrevocably captured, paving the way for my intention to come into being.

I am currently working on a large piece integrating 2000 sigils, but I have also integrated sigils into other works such as my Blue Monday series … more about that next time.