Distributed by the University of Nebraska Press for Whale and Star Press
Alchemy of Light offers an intimate look at the aesthetic world Mary Conover forms from the disparate influences of her life, the Jungian heritage, and the ineffable presence of the sea. The book explores the relationship between the wild and empty places where Conover works and her ideas about the world and her place in it. In palimpsest-like abstractions, she locates the search for self in the beauty and danger of untamed water and implacable desert.
Alchemy of Light mirrors the artist’s alchemical process of acceptance and transmutation by presenting, without hierarchy, intricate personal notebooks, works in progress, influential writings, accomplished paintings in oil, collage, and digital photomontage. Conover tracks the seductions of risk in her peripatetic life. She describes how slowly acquiring the disciplines of yoga and meditation provided a structure for investigating consciousness in her work, with light as the primary metaphor. Collectively, the images and text in Alchemy of Light create a relevant portrait of an artist who transcends current trends in abstraction by the power of an internal vision.