Homo Conscious, 2018
A self directed concept & collection.
Homo Conscious (translates from latin into ‘conscious human’) is an ongoing collection of works that theorize about a speculative evolutionary path where genuine and profound consciousness is found. It exists in a parallel dimension to the existence of ‘Homo Sapiens’ (‘wise human’), whose presumed wisdom led to the creation and collective trust in an array artificial social and physical constructs that may have distracted from developing a deep interest and understanding of the universe. The series imagines the people, traditions, collective dreams, discoveries, afterlife, and other details in this world as speculation, and as a eulogy, to human understanding that eclipses the scientific. These beings are empathetic, dream-oriented, and symbiotic with the planet, existing in works that spark reveries of a healthier dimension.
The Stoned Ape Hypothesis by ethnobotanist Terrance McKenna is a radical interpretation of human evolution that acts as a cornerstone for this collection of work. It hypothesizes that psychedelic mushrooms were widely consumed by humankind during the early stages in its evolution as an explanation for a sudden doubling in the capacity of cognition that occurred in human neurology hundreds of thousands of years ago. He proposes that the repetition of psychedelic experiences fed empathy and social intelligence that nourished the 'Gaian mind' and lead to higher consciousness. This series envisions an imagined outcome of the persistence of these psychedelic experiences as well as an exploration of the knowledge gained from them. Ultimately, it is an exploration of profound meaning that may be present but often dormant within our own existence.
“Lenaghan imagines an attentive world evolved with homo conscius, and humankind that is more profound in thinking, values the earth more, understands dreams as more significant - individually or collectively. Hyper-detailed, hand-drawn illustration with a recent foray into embroidery. Astounding!”
Justine Kohleal, RBC Curatorial Fellow and Joshua Heuman, Curator of Education and Public Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery