Through my art I want to open a reflection and dialogue about what is the essence of being human. I do believe that at the core, below the social mask or cross cultural layer we are all the same and we are all in a journey of transformation, in search for meaning and connection to something bigger than ourselves.
To express that I use the concept of Archetypes (both West and East) and connect their metaphorical language with the artistic one. The archetypes have raised new interest beyond the original mystical or psychoanalytic origins. It is seen as a possible approach to (self-) discovery that tap into an ancient wisdom crossing different cultures (European, Chinese, Arabic) and it is at the intersection of science and spirituality, a way to observe and describe ourselves and the world with universal lens and language, a way that can touch our un-logical collective unconscious through metaphors and that highly resonates with the artistic language. I see it as an approach that can be integrated with the scientific one (more familiar to us) and that can make us reflect on matters of the spirit and "humanness".
This art project is a sequence of 5 paintings: the feelings/meaning we experience during a transformation, several stages and emotions, that can be represented with an archetype.
Stage 1 - The Hermit archetype: we retreat in ourselves in a difficult process of letting go our old identity and stay in a silent space , "in between" our past identity and the yet unknown future identity. This space is at the same time sacred (because it is open to infinite possibilities) and cursed (because uncertainty is unconfortable). It is the liminal space.
Stage 2 - The Fool Archetype: we start tapping in our/whole undirected (yet), chaotic, dangerous sacred creative energy. It can move us forward or it can make us become "mad", depressed, suffering.
Stage 3 - The lover archetype: we arrive to a stage where a strong internal energy coming from desire, passion, urge (about something new) breaks us free from our old self and moves us to the new self. We aim at unity again with our (new) self. It is the time for choices and to start listening the calling of "what we love".
Stage 4 - The Moon archetype: the seed of our new self is planned, and will grow in the cosmic mother energy, we cannot see it yet but is there. It is time to connect with our intuition, with our feminine energy. It is connection within. It is creation itself.
Stage 5 - The World archetype: passing through a period of experimentation, we will find realization in all our potential. Our new self is born, we find fulfillment, meaning and realization.
Than the cycle starts again….
Another version of Step 3 - The Lover Archetype
Another version of Step 2 - The Fool Archetype
Another version of Step 1 - The Hermit Archetype
In terms of creative process i followed 5 steps (not always an a so linear way):
1. Clarify my project concept and research questions
2. Prepare a research plan
3. Do the actual research and journal about it (ie. research on Archetypes)
4. Ideation: the ideas come to me in very different ways, I use words to stimulate a connection with feelings and experiences and paint a first very intuitive and emotional first layer, than I start to makes sense of what has emerged on the canvas and work more on the composition or develop the images letting really emerge new shapes directly from the canvas (trying to find emerging shapes as when kids we were finding shapes in the clouds) and connect what is emerging with the general message I want to convey with the painting. This is and iterative process that stops when the painting "feels right".
Below I capture some of the steps taking a picture of my project notebook.