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CIRCA:

The German Benedictine visionary and mystic Hildegard of Bingen is an important influence in this new work. Why did you pick her?

EMMA TALBOT:

I wanted to ally contemporary visionaries with ancient counterparts, who still speak to us today. Hildegard Von Bingen was a visionary from the 12th century, whose work we know because she felt compelled to write her visions down, to make music and to produce works about healing. The activity of creative making as a conduit for ideas that can serve the future seemed important to me. I also like the idea of a voice that speaks to others about structures that are inherent in nature. I visually described Hildegard von Bingen in my animation as a bird with a woman’s head who flies through time to call out to others, a voice to convey visionary ideas and bring people together.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

The best-known religious woman of the twelfth century was Hildegard of Bingen. She joined the double monastery of Disibodenberg in the Rhineland as a child and became the abbess of its community of nuns. In 1147 she experienced a vision that caused her to leave Disibodenberg and set up her own community, solely of nuns, at Rupertsberg near Bingen in the Rhineland.Hildegard was a cultured woman of wide learning: she composed music, was a prodigious letter-writer and wrote texts on medicine and herbalism. However, she was best known in her time for her visions, which were set down in writing and illustrated by the nuns of her community. The two books of Hildegard's visions are entitled 'Know the Ways of God' (lost since 1945) and 'The Book of Divine Works'.