Saturday, 13 September 2014

rediscovering discovery

After I finished my PhD into the Void I came to the conclusion that images were not an end in themselves - which meant that in and of themselves they have no intrinsic value. I expected to be a bit lost and I was, but I am an artist - did this mean my romance with images was over? It left me in a different, but similar material 'void' - it seemed inconceivable I would ever engage with images in the same way again.

For very practical reasons I enrolled in a Diploma in Graphic Design (online), which meant starting all over again from the beginning in a different but related field. What I found though, is that I am enjoying the same basic exercises I did in the early 80s when I went to Claremont TAFE to study art at tertiary level for the first time. I have rediscovered the simple pleasure of playing with shape and line and colour. 
Now one would assume images in design don't have much meaning because they are created for a specific, mostly commercial purpose. But even in design my 'brand' of image and way of percieving the world persists. This is evident from comparisons with other students' work - I am doing collage at the moment and the textures and images I am selecting are very 'me'. For the past year or so I have been obsessing with 'fire' and 'ice' and although I have been gathering these images, I put this investigation on hold until I finished the thesis. Now it is clear that I have moved naturally into a new phase - from the black/blue rock and water to red, yellow, black and white - the full significance of which I am yet to discover. These colours and certain motifs are showing up in my design work.

I had been wondering how I could integrate my new 'world focused' interest in graphic design with the ongoing process of individuation, so it was a relief to see that the unconscious was still guiding me. The colours of my collage are mainly red and yellow and I now believe I may be negotiating the alchemical phases of 'Rubedo' and 'Citrinitas'.

It seems that with awareness, or maybe even without it, the alchemy of images continues to evolve consciousness. Reassuringly the work goes on despite my numerous lapses and involvement in 'ordinary' reality and the everyday.