On Peacocks and Toilets

I’ve decided to not work formally with the 1620s House and Garden at Donnington le Heath for various reasons but I am exploring further some of the ideas that came out of a visit there and thoughtful discussion with artist Ashokkumar D Mistry.

We spoke of poetry, knots, sigils, the power of shape, symmetry, asymmetry, cultures, subjugation, and joy.

Metaphysical concrete.

I’m sure that Ashok and I will work closely together as these moments slide between now, then, before and forward.

The image of the peacock is seen all around the 1620’s House and Garden, predominantly in reproduction, in modern artefacts as seen here atop the toilet signage.

The peacock comes with many meanings depending which culture it’s found in and it’s found in many, from its indigenous settings and wider afield in appropriation.

I’m thinking at the moment of its alchemical significance. The peacock as a colorful symbol of transformation. The alchemy peacock might be envisioned in our moments of feeling defeated, moments of depression like the Phoenix the image of the peacock held in our mind gives us hope of regeneration, hope that we too can rise from the flames of despair. Whilst being an ego imbued image, celebrating the swagger of ‘the peacock’ it also is symbolic of the death of ego and then rebirth into a new time of illumination and spiritually. Here it points the way to the toilet, a place perhaps too of relief and transformation, who hasn’t left the toilet, the restroom changed somehow?

We find the peacock again in the centre of the 1620s House and Garden’s low, knott like maze .. a short twisting journey’s end, a goal.

all dressed up
and ready to impress
maple leaves and oak

Paul Conneally
September 27th 2019

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