The Vivisector Oracle: A Colour System for the Discovery of Truth forArtists and Others in Times of Uncertainty began as a list of all the colours in the novel The Vivisector by Patrick White. It's a work whose central protagonist is a narcissistic modernist painter whose main purpose is pursuit of Truth in art, to the detriment to all those around him.
In making a visual representation of the list I used paint swatch colours to approximate each of the colour terms in the novel. The result was a series of collages on index cards. My choices for each colour was guided both by my impression of the colour and the names of the paint swatches.
The work became an oracle when I made a connection between the resemblance of the cards to tarot cards in size and my sense that my choices of colours to represent the words was simply 'divined' by intuition, as I imagine an oracle might. This is why I reread the book and selected oracular statements to refer to each of the sets of colours, directly from the pages where these colours occured in the narrative.
In this exhibition I made small books for each of the ten chapters with the reading for each card so that viewers might ask and find the answers to questions they might have.
It surprised me that as a result of this exhibition viewers asked for live 'readings' from me. This development influnced me in developing a performed version, and a version called Guerilla Oracle in which I pasted reading on paint swatches to be encountered by viewers unexpectedly.