Thank you to Raw Vision for bringing to our attention this little film about Emery Blagdon and his Healing Machine, which he built in his shed.
Blagdon was a self-taught artist who, in the late 1950’s, began twisting old wire and foil, threading hundreds of beads, and shaping everyday castoff materials with one purpose – to generate natural energy to heal. Spurred on by personal tragedy, Blagdon’s obsession to create a “Healing Machine” was life-long as he believed people could be cured by his artful chandlers, cascades of wire, and geometric paintings. All which he deemed gave off healing power.
Blagdon considered himself more a healer or scientist-inventor than an artist, although he welcomed visitors to view his shed and bask in its regenerative effect. Although a recluse, his easy manner and willingness to share his work led local pharmacist Dan Dryden to view the installation after Blagdon approached him at the pharmacy in search of “earth elements” for his Machines. After the artist’s death of cancer in 1986, Dryden and a friend purchased the shed in its entirety at auction. Blagdon’s “Healing Machine” has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fourth Biennale in Lyon, France; after conservation, the environment was acquired by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.