In 1712 John Talman, first director of the Society of Antiquaries in England returned from Italy with a compilation of journals written by Ursala Von Braun, William of Northampton, Elizabeth of Norwich, Prior John of Langford, Abbess Faith Sullivan, and Vespertina who lived in fourteenth century England. The journals– Spiritus Quarere: De Profundus (Soul Seekers- Into the Depths) were inscribed in English and Latin on parchment, and paper. Illuminations were attributed to Vespertina. Sometime in the fifteenth century they were collated, stitched together and bound in leather with a bronze clasp and lock.
In 1929 the esteemed Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose attended his last Scientific Mission in Cambridge, England with a lecture on “The Revelations of the Unvoiced Life of Plants.” Known for the invention of the world famous Crescograph which magnified the smallest vibration ten million times, he proved that plants responded to various stimuli as if they had nervous systems like that of animals. His investigations showed that stimuli in metals, plants and animals create reactions, “equally and uniformly throughout organic and inorganic matter.”
Joseph Gilbert Thorp, an American art collector was in Cambridge during this time and given a private showing of the newly invented Crescoptiscope, attributed to Bose. This instrument took the Crescograph one step further and translated vibrational data into pictures. It could actually reveal memories from inanimate objects he was told. The Crescoptiscope disappeared.
In the early 1990’s while doing research in England for “The Visions of Vespertina” CD, I came across some pages from the William of Northampton journal at Chetham Library– the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. Vespertina’s name was mentioned numerous times throughout and one illuminated page was graced by her artistry. Professor Chetham (no filial relationship to the founder of the library) noticed my interest in Vespertina and introduced me to the Spiritus Quarere: De Profundus tome. This book became an obsession of mine for nearly two decades. Over time the text was translated, and illuminations were interpreted. I made art to visualize it further.
Page by page the world of Vespertina was revealing itself. Then Professor Chetham showed me the magic of the Crescoptiscope. The real visions began.