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ARCHETAPESTRY

The be-all and end-all. The facets of US. These are Jung’s Archetypes through my eyes.

This series is a work in progress which I aim to finish by the end of the year.

ABOUT THIS COLLECTION

INTRODUCTION

This is a collection of works that was spawned by my fascination with the collective unconscious and the theories of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, that I began making in July 2023 and hope to complete by December 2023 or early 2024. The full body of work will consist of 20 mixed-media artworks, each one representing a powerful and significant Jungian Archetype as seen through the lens of my perception and felt through the weight of my experience.

The archetypes are a concept developed by Jung which can be described as fundamental, universal experiences, memories, symbols and themes that are deeply rooted in the collective unconscious of humanity.

To Jungian theorists, and many storytellers, artists and dreamers, the collective unconscious is a reservoir of inherited psychic material that goes beyond an individual’s personal experiences and is the part of the unconscious mind that contains shared, universal experiences, symbols, themes and memories common to all humans.

From this reservoir, spring the universal archetypes – recurring motifs and patterns that appear in myths, dreams, stories, and art that transcend culture, time periods and our everyday lives. These archetypes, such as the Hero, the Mother, and the Shadow, are innate, inherited elements of the human psyche, shaping our perceptions, emotions, and behaviours. They provide a framework for understanding the human psyche, personal development, and the way narratives and symbols shape our perceptions.

We have all heard of the hero’s journey, for example. It is perhaps one of the most ubiquitous of the archetypal outplayings. It appears again and again throughout culture after culture, regardless of race, philosophy, heritage, language, time-period, or location. These are the stories passed down through the ages that remain true to our everyday lives as we navigate the process of self-actualisation and integration.

Jungian archetypes have significant implications for psychology, literature, art, and cultural studies and offer insights into the universal themes and motivations that connect humanity across diverse cultures and times. They offer a profound understanding of the shared human experience, and thus a deeper understanding not only of self, but of our fellow human beings.

 

THE EXHIBITION

I hope to hold a solo exhibition of these works once they are complete. Using these surreal and symbolic pieces, I wish not only to connect with the viewer on a deep level, but also to hold up a mirror reflecting our shared experience of the collective unconscious. What will the viewer see that I see too? Will they see and be moved by symbols personal to them is these works?

Because archetypal imagery is often raw, psychologically charged and powerful (and this is something I have aimed for in these works), they often provoke unexpected or intense emotional and psychological responses and reactions. These works make some people uncomfortable, and I cannot help wondering if they invite self-reflection. That is my aim. That the viewer walks away from this collection wondering why they feel the way they do. While the symbols in these works are both my own, and pervasive, as are all archetypal symbols, they can vary depending on self and culture, and yet transcend them. I hope to hold a mirror to the viewer, reflecting the collective unconscious through engagement with my own relationship with these archetypes.

By visually articulating these symbols of the human experience, I seek to invoke or provoke a connection with the other through the universal, archetypal language – unspoken, transcendent and deeply felt – of the collective unconscious. I want to connect with them, and I want them to connect with themselves through the lens of Jung’s visions as I have portrayed them.