Alistair Gentry

Alistair Gentry (Bedford, UK, 1973) is a writer and artist. Recent works involve oratory, storytelling, and extensively researched factual content derived earnestly or satirically from scientific forms and research methods. He has been artist-in-residence for the Genomics Policy & Research Forum at the University of Edinburgh and for New Media Scotland, and was awarded an Artist Fellowship by Arts Council England and English Heritage (the national agency for historic buildings and archaeological sites). He is the author of two novels, numerous short stories, critical articles on artists, contemporary art and arts policy, and of ‘Career Suicide’, a non-fiction memoir about being a non-famous artist. Magickal Realism is a performance lecture using storytelling, readings, video and audience interaction to recreate the life and the occult practice of Dr. John Dee, the 16th century proto-scientist and court wizard to Queen Elizabeth I. Dee himself was a lecturing superstar as a young man, touring Europe with his talks on Renaissance subjects such as mathematics, cartography, chemistry, automata, and the rediscovery of Classical learning. He had one of the most extensive and complete libraries in the world– over 4000 volumes at a time when Cambridge University held only 450– and an advanced chemical laboratory. His library and laboratory were eventually ransacked, looted and destroyed, possibly because he became entangled with England’s espionage networks at a time of great paranoia about exploitation of the New World, Catholic Europe and the possibility of England being invaded by the Spanish. Dee’s accomplishments were immense but he suffered great loss and betrayal in his life. He died in obscure poverty. He has only recently been reassessed as an essential and pivotal figure in English history and culture.

Alistair Gentry’s Gallery

Alistair Gentry’s Video

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