Meeting the Shadow Self

I have been preparing for my seminar for Visual Culture, which is based on Jung’s process of Individuation. This involves meeting the shadow and dealing with it. I found this video by The Family Band. Fab video and for me it totally illustrates the whole shadow story.

Enjoy!

Formative Assessment

Today I set up my work as it stands now,  in the studio for the formative assessment. It was a useful exercise as I learned several things:

  • I need a lot more space than I first envisioned if I am to present my work this way in the exhibiton at the end of the year.
  • My mixed media work of the girl and the beast will look great if it is much bigger. I have sourced some quotes and I think I will get it printed onto a wrapped canvas, in at least A2 size.
  • Given more space I think shadows could work really well even with ambient lighting, depending where I am in the gallery.
  • I need to do the technical research to ensure that my trees and trophy are stable once installed. For the formative I relied on masking tape.

Anyhow, here are the images, the trophy of course has a way to go, but on the whole I am please that I have a clear vision of what my final work will be like.

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The ruination of Ruby…

I started to make Ruby more beastly looking today, but I made a mistake of rushing the process in time for the formative assessment tomorrow. I created her ears ok, but then I applied wet wallpaper paste and tissue paper to the dried Ruby head and of course it soaked through the dry stuff and she ended up a bit if a mush.  :(

I dried her with a hairdryer and added more foam inside, sort of like botox, to push her nose and lips back out. I also experimented with making the wolf hat that will go on top of her head, but didn’t get too far with that.  I kind of managed to resue her but as you can see from the photo below she is rather battered looking. Still I quite like the texture of the new tissue as it looks fur-like. I was going to beastify her anyway so I guess it is not too much of a disaster.

Lesson learned… wet wallpaper paste on top of dry paper mache is a BAD idea!

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Antlers for Ruby

I spent a couple of hours today working on Ruby and her antlers. I had to carve out a polystyrene ball and insert in inside her head to hold them in place. It will still need some weighting though.

The images below show the various branches I tried. The one I really loved was way too large in the end for the scale of the head but I am pleased with how she looks now, which is the image on the bottom right.

Photos from Sep 2014 Photo Stream

 

Getting ahead…

Ok sorry for that pun there, but meet Ruby… the beginnings of my trophy…

Ruby is created from tissue paper and wallpaper paste around a rubber mold of a head. Removing her from the head mold involved a bit of a frontal lobotomy, but she looks great. I am going to be beastifying her up somehow, to give an anthropomorphic look.

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Getting it together with Level 7…

This morning the Level 7 guys n gals came into our lowly space to join in with our critique. I love it when we all get together, sadly it doesn’t happen enough. Our group was rather low on numbers as three of the students were absent, (there are 57 varieties of bug going around at the moment), but it was still very cool.

I went for a cold read and the feedback was really good. Most of the group got the anthropomorphic angle, and none of them mentioned Little Red Riding Hood! I was pleased about that, as it means that my own story is coming through now. I had some interesting discussions about theorists too. I hope to have further chats with the 2 students from Level 7 particularly, as we had lots in common. My favourite comment from a Level 7 student was:

Oh my God, I wish I had a mind that worked like yours

I do feel blessed to have such a quirky outlook on life, I have to admit. But then how could I be any other way? It would be enlightening to swap minds with someone else for a day though, imagine that!! Anyway back to the critique…

All of the group loved my book: Wolves Are People Too, which gave me a buzz. I am always amazed when people enjoy and get my art, especially something like a book, which has to work on many levels. This book may not end up being part of my final work for this project, but I am carrying on with the theme next year and I may produce a series of books. I was thinking along the lines of picture books for bigger people.

No suggestions of improvement were out forward, so I will carry on and have more faith in myself, my ideas and my odd mind!

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A Soul Man

 

I was reading Passion of the Western Mind, by Richard Tarnas the other evening, and I came across a name that was new to me.

Meet James Hillman:

I spent the whole of today reading, Googling, listening and watching everything I could about this guy, and I have ordered his book Re-Visioning Psychology, which is mentioned in the YouTube clip above. I even got to look at his birth chart, courtesy of these video’s by Richard Tarnas, who incidentally does seem to share a lot of Hillman’s beliefs.

I am really quite blown away by Mr Hillman. He thought in a way that I believed no one did anymore. He spoke of the Anima Mundi, the soul of the world, an idea that I think originated with Plato. Soul of the world is a concept that I haven’t heard anyone speak of by name maybe ever. Soul is like a dirty word today it seems, its kind of like he who must not be named, in the Harry Potter books. Time we started talking dirty I think.

One really thing that struck me, in one of the clips I watched, was when he spoke of his time in analysis with Jung. He talked about how Jung was such a big man, and his aura was so powerful, so intense, that he knew he could not continue analysis with him, for fear of being swallowed up. I have never heard Jung described in this way before, no wonder he had such an effect on the world. Still, great as Jung was, Hillman takes his depth psychology even further.

I have a long way to go, and a lot of reading to do with James Hillman, I am sorry I discovered him after he died, (in 2011), but I think he is tapping my shoulder from somewhere.

 

 

Advice from Einstein

I am not sure if fairy tales make children intelligent, but it certainly gives them a basis for working out feelings. They are a wonderful way of comparing a situation in the child psyche, with a resolved story. The child knows it will all be ok. A great of this, is Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

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Image retrieved on 12/9/14 from: http://tinyurl.com/mjx39od

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Wolves in the Shadows

Today in studio I was experimenting with large, shadow like drawings of wolves. I quite like the idea of drawing these directly on the wall of the exhibition space. I would ideally like to project them as shadows on the wall but given the fact that it will be a joint exhibition this could be difficult. I talked about this with my tutor, Will, and we discussed creating an enclosed space which would eliminate ambient light. It would involve having a viewing gap though which would create more of a voyeur effect which I don;t really want.

I think this vague shadow drawing is actually quite effective and can imagine it larger on a wall. I believe it would look pretty neat with the tree branches around it. I will have to experiment in the studio. I am running out of space with all my trees and branch antlers!

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Embracing the Beast

While walking in the woods around my property, looking for decent branches, I found some awesome ‘antlers’ in the form of fallen pine tree branches. I have been using antlers in my recent work to symbolise the beast in Red Riding Hood, her animus, if you like. I am aiming to present my work in a forest-like setting within the gallery, and these antlers would look great with my work, so I looked at them and thought about it and decided they needed to become a part of my exhibition, in the form of a trophy.

A trophy is generally something that is won through a sporting achievement of some kind, or a souvenir of a hunting expedition in the form of a stuffed animal head. My using a ‘trophy’ in my work will symbolise the achievement of Red Riding Hood, having faced her demons in the forest. There is also another motive for me; as a lifelong vegetarian and animal rights supporter, I deplore the practice of collecting dead bits of animals that have been killed. My trophy will not be dead, but it will represent rebirth and new life and the union of anima and animus within Red Riding Hood.

Watch this space… meanwhile, I like these:

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Image retrieved from: http://tinyurl.com/l3lpj2f

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Image retrieved from: http://tinyurl.com/mlrq6y3