Δε Σοφíα (Towards Wisdom)


This image and below: Jesse Bransford, Δε Σοφíα (Towards Wisdom), 2013, Hand-Painted Glazed Terra Cotta, Commissioned by the NYC Department of Education and the NYC School Construction Authority Public Art for Public Schools Program, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program. Collection of the NYC Department of Education.







      

   



















Staves for the Sayings of the High One

From the Hávamál, notably the Ljóðatal or Charms


Jesse Bransford, Stave against Sorrow (1), 2014, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“Those songs I know, which nor sons of men
nor queen in a king's court knows;
the first is Help which will bring thee help
in all woes and in sorrow and strife.”



Jesse Bransford, Stave of Healing (2), 2014, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A second I know, which the son of men
must sing, who would heal the sick.”


Jesse Bransford, To Blunt Weapons (3), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper., 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Acrylic and watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A third I know: if sore need should come
of a spell to stay my foes;
when I sing that song, which shall blunt their swords,
nor their weapons nor staves can wound.”


Jesse Bransford, To Escape from Prison (4), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A fourth I know: if men make fast
in chains the joints of my limbs,
when I sing that song which shall set me free,
spring the fetters from hands and feet.”


Jesse Bransford, To Stop a Dart of Malice (5), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A fifth I know: when I see, by foes shot,
speeding a shaft through the host,
flies it never so strongly I still can stay it,
if I get but a glimpse of its flight.”


Jesse Bransford, Conjured Harm Returns to the Sender (6), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A sixth I know: when some thane would harm me
in runes on a moist tree's root,
on his head alone shall light the ills
of the curse that he called upon mine.”



Jesse Bransford, Protection from Fire (7), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A seventh I know: if I see a hall
high o'er the bench-mates blazing,
flame it ne'er so fiercely I still can save it, --
I know how to sing that song.”



Jesse Bransford, To Bring Peace Between Quarrelers (8), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“An eighth I know: which all can sing
for their weal if they learn it well;
where hate shall wax 'mid the warrior sons,
I can calm it soon with that song.”



Jesse Bransford, To Calm the Ocean (9), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A ninth I know: when need befalls me
to save my vessel afloat,
I hush the wind on the stormy wave,
and soothe all the sea to rest.”



Jesse Bransford, To Trap Shape-Shifted Witches (10), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A tenth I know: when at night the witches
ride and sport in the air,
such spells I weave that they wander home
out of skins and wits bewildered.”



Jesse Bransford, To Aid Allies in Battle (11), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“An eleventh I know: if haply I lead
my old comrades out to war,
I sing 'neath the shields, and they fare forth mightily
safe into battle,
safe out of battle,
and safe return from the strife.”



Jesse Bransford, To Speak to a Hanged Man (12), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A twelfth I know: if I see in a tree
a corpse from a halter hanging,
such spells I write, and paint in runes,
that the being descends and speaks.”



Jesse Bransford, Sprinkled Water Prevents Harm (13), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A thirteenth I know: if the new-born son
of a warrior I sprinkle with water,
that youth will not fail when he fares to war,
never slain shall he bow before sword.”



Jesse Bransford, To Distinguish Between Gods and Men (14), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A fourteenth I know: if I needs must number
the Powers to the people of men,
I know all the nature of gods and of elves
which none can know untaught.”



Jesse Bransford, The Wisdom of the Sage (15), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A fifteenth I know, which Folk-stirrer sang,
the dwarf, at the gates of Dawn;
he sang strength to the gods, and skill to the elves,
and wisdom to Odin who utters.”



Jesse Bransford, To Have a Woman’s Heart (16), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A sixteenth I know: when all sweetness and love
I would win from some artful wench,
her heart I turn, and the whole mind change
of that fair-armed lady I love.”

Jesse Bransford, All Women Will Respond (17), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“A seventeenth I know: so that e'en the shy maiden
is slow to shun my love.”



Jesse Bransford, Stave for the Unspoken Charm (18), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Watercolor and graphite on paper.

“These songs, Stray-Singer, which man's son knows not,
long shalt thou lack in life,
though thy weal if thou win'st them, thy boon if thou obey'st them
thy good if haply thou gain'st them.

An eighteenth I know: which I ne'er shall tell
to maiden or wife of man
save alone to my sister, or haply to her
who folds me fast in her arms;
most safe are secrets known to but one-
the songs are sung to an end.”

**

Now the sayings of the High One are uttered in the hall
for the weal of men, for the woe of Jötuns,
Hail, thou who hast spoken! Hail, thou that knowest!
Hail, ye that have hearkened! Use, thou who hast learned!”

–edited and translated by Olive Bray, 1908

The Veil of Dreams



Artists Jesse Bransford and Max Razdow set out to inhabit the same dream space for six months, blog about it and travel across the world to tell the story. Their starting point: Icelandic Magic.
For the next five months Jesse Bransford and Max Razdow will use Icelandic magical symbols as a reference point to enter the larger dream divination space of the Seiðr traditions and to synchronise their dreams. The results are published on Fulgur Esoterica's website on a daily basis.
The project will culminate with a pilgrimage: the artists will travel to Iceland to visit sacred sites, perform a series of workings and find physical correspondences with their shared dream experiences.

Draum Stafir (Stave of Unfulfilled Dreams and Desires)


Jesse Bransford, Draum Stafir (Stave of Unfulfilled Dreams and Desires), 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Acrylic and watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

‘Stave for Healing (2)’

Jesse Bransford, ‘Stave for Healing (2)’, 2014, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2”, Acrylic and watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

‘Stave to Protect Your Allies in Battle (11)’

Jesse Bransford, ‘Stave to Protect Your Allies in Battle (11)’, 2014, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2”, Acrylic and watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

Stave of the Worlds

Jesse Bransford, Stave of the Worlds, 2014, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2”, Acrylic and watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

Against Melancholy II

Jesse Bransford, Against Melancholy II, 2014, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2”, Acrylic and watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

Aqua/Sal (For David Shaw)

This image and below: Jesse Bransford, detail of Aqua/Sal (For David Shaw), 2013, Dimensions variable, Tempera paint on wall and floor, salt water in Prague crystal, Installation at Feature Inc. (Destroyed).



Lamen Shield (Saturn)

Jesse Bransford, Lamen Shield (Saturn), 2013, 6.75” diameter, archival inkjet print on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

Awareness is Transformation


Jesse Bransford, Awareness is Transformation, 2013, 50.5x32,” Acrylic, ink, watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

Rings of Saturn (Black Rainbow)

Jesse Bransford, Rings of Saturn (Black Rainbow), 2013, 38.75x24.5,” Acrylic, ink, watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.

Magic Squares (Aleph in Saturn, Jupiter, Mars)

Jesse Bransford, Magic Squares (Aleph in Saturn, Jupiter, Mars), 2013, 29.25x21.5,” Acrylic, watercolor and graphite on paper.
Collection of the Artist.