The Soap Factory has always been a nexus of transformation between the various states of matter. The ancient woodlands of pre-Columbian Minnesota were felled to provide the columns that support our building; clay was dug from the banks of the Mississippi to make the bricks that provide our walls; the National Purity Soap Company rendered animal fat in vast cauldrons to make the soap that gives our building and organization its name. Whereas the factory changed states of matter, artists working in our building work their transformations on both matter and states of being.
In old Europe, the hedge priest was an itinerant preacher, a free agent regarded with suspicion by authority and reverence by his flock. Hedge Magic is a practice without a regard for the mediation of a higher power, a non-hermetic magic based on intuition rather than dogma. It is inspired by found materials: the refuse, rubbish and discarded ingredients of the hedgerows and the waste grounds. It is a belief system both smaller and more intimate, as well as wider and more encompassing, recognizing the importance of the chaotic detail that creates the whole. Selected as part of The Soap Factory’s annual submissions program, the artists in Hedge Magic all look at the processes of transformation and interpretation through the super-natural lens of art; the artist as the interrogator of the secret process of nature and culture.