We all operate daily in several planes of consciousness, but are not often aware of how they interact and inform our thoughts and activities, likes and dislikes. Being more aware of the different levels of consciousness and how to make use of this emerging awareness in my art process is currently a focus of my art practice. This exploration has meant breaking habits and altering routines.
I am a planner; I like to plot out what a work will be and how it will look. I decided, upon being challenged, that I needed to step back and make more allowance for the unplanned.
In the Mnemosyne Series I started off my pieces by applying textured surfaces with as few preconceived ideas as is possible. In order to try tapping the un-conscious mind, where thought processes occur automatically and are not available for introspection.
I continue by making graphite rubbings of the raw pieces. The rubbings are rendered and patterns are discovered. The sub-conscious wants to see patterns and make connections. The sub-conscious is said to be the realm of the mind that stores disconnected information, which can be retrieved and processed by the conscious mind.
Returning to the panel, texture is added, removed or carved into. Another rubbing or two and another revision might follow. Impressions of something emerge. The first washes of colour are added. The conscious mind wants to engage and take over, revisit old habits. It is the moment of the conscious, deliberation is employed. Shapes become things. Found objects are incorporated. The narrative is developed. My relationship to the completed piece is the realm of the self-conscious, which not only refers to a person’s feeling when revealing something of themselves to strangers, but also refers to how one sees one self in the greater context of society.
In the Series Mnemosyne (named after the Greek Goddess of memory) objects and shapes trigger associations with my childhood fascination with the stories that cultures develop and use to explain the world and their cultures place within it. I was particularly interested in Greek mythology, with it tales of heroic trials and tribulations, lurking dangers, betrayal and unfathomable creatures. Though abstract, the paintings convey a sense of the myths referenced.