Interplay - a visual exploration of the processes of individuation
Gorst, Beth Jo-Ann
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This project is an exploration, through art making processes, of a relationship between the interpretation of symbols and the interpretation of everyday life experiences, with a view to evolving a metaphorical visual language that might translate these experiences. Individuation is a process within Jungian psychology that relates the interpretation of symbols to the interpretation of life experiences and places their common meanings within a definitive framework of individual human development. The archetypal pattern that this framework outlines is the development of a healthy relationship between an individual’s consciousness and the unconscious. The word metaphor originates from Greek metapherein – “to carry over, transfer; meta` beyond, over + fe`rein to bring, bear. It is the transference of the relation between one set of objects to another set for the purpose of brief explanation… the statement “that man is a fox,” is a metaphor” (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 2008) Due to its particular relationship to time, space, memory and light photography has proven to be an ideal way to engage, record, and present this exploration. Our personal photographs operate as visual metaphors for our personal experience, we transfer the experience into the photograph, we consider the photograph is that moment in time, that place, that experience, rather than being like that experience. The interpretation of personal photographs is entirely individual and emotional. When photographs are placed into the public arena their emotional value changes, their interpretation, purpose, and authenticity can become questionable. In this project the experience and the photographs are placed within the context of individuation, which is a model that guides the interpretation of the photographs and include the individual and emotional values as a necessary part of that interpretation. In this project the symbols and visual metaphors interpreted in the photographs operate as a narrative of the personal experience of the archetypal journey of individuation.