Known for his stunningly detailed gothic work that layers 19th century botanical and anatomical engravings into captivating hybrid portraits, Dan Hillier’s prints have always had an air of dark psychedelic intrigue. In his forthcoming exhibition Ceremony, Hillier has upped the ante with works that venture into the realm of hallucinatory exploration.
In the Amazon, shaman use ayahuasca to gain spiritual transcendence during ritualised ceremonies. Made by brewing tree bark and plant leaves together, ayahuasca’s hallucinogenic properties stimulate both a mental and physical journey that involves vomiting, confronting ones demons and experiencing enlightened accession.
Hillier took ayahuasca with Shipibo shaman on a recent visit to the Peruvian rainforest. The result of his “visionary experience” is evident in his latest prints. Employing a menagerie of symbols and meditation poses collaged with uncanny figures in landscapes of kaleidoscopic patterns, the works evoke a psychotropic wonderland, and explore the power of devotional imagery and universal iconography.
Ceremony runs from 25 November 2016 to 3 January 2017 at Prints & Originals Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY.