ness -ness nest nestle net (2018) or neurosis (over)looked(over) (retitled 2018)
An article in which I consider my own artistic practice as metaphor for Jung’s theory and process of individuation; aiming towards wholeness through a connection of apparently opposing forces.
In my latest body of work, the field of research was a dream site, experienced whilst on holiday in Valletta, Malta. Encountering material that undoubtedly connected with the ‘inside’ I was unable to project my analysis onto anything other than my self. Each time my research ventured outwards it took a kind of boomerang trajectory, mirroring the journey of my enquiry into the human condition from a study of archaeology towards archaeology-as-metaphor (for depth psychology). The further I travelled from my dream the closer I came back to an understanding of my self.
Downing, C ed. 1994 The Long Journey Home: Re-visioning the Myth of Demeter and Persephone for Our Time Shambbala Press p387
Ronnberg ed. 2010 The book of Symbols Taschen p6
click image to play
Did you meet her? (d’m’t-er) is a selective installation from an ongoing body of work, the impulse for which emerged in a search for the Mother Goddess in Valetta, Malta in 2017. The work draws on my own dreams and archetypal encounters, the pre-patriarchal myth of the triple goddess, Demeter, and the psychological concept of a world-soul.
Nau Arts (11-18 May 2018)
unit 2 Crooks Industrial Estate, Cheltenham
from Buddo to Brodgar: experiencing neolithic Orkney in its own terms – in the transition from linguistic-mythic to material-symbolic culture
“Taking my cue from the ‘Buddo’ assignment, I approached Orkney from a position of un-knowing, purposefully holding back from research. I read just enough to satisfy the logistics of travel. It was no surprise to find that I was at the centre of my Brodgar experience, but I was surprised by the bodily nature of my experience. In the ‘Buddo’ assignment my connections had been linguistically based – in books, held within stories told. At Brodgar, the physical experience of the site seemed to draw all its resonances directly from my body-mind, the memory of my hands forming a basket, my hands reconstructing a pot”
1. the centre: the point of origin, of making, holding the stones together
“I connect opposites: two stones to the north, three to the south, two to the east, one to the west. With this basic structure (like starting a basket) I can complete the circle and hold it in my minds eye.”
2. fragments: piecing together the remains of the circle, to take away, relationships intact
“I photograph two or three stones at a time, from the centre, in rotation, making sure to include the last stone from each group in the next shot so that they can later be pieced together (like fragments of a pot)”
3. embodied: in circular procession, the stones materialising one by one, through bodily proximity, comparing scale and weight
“I follow the stones around, starting at the first upright and stopping at each one, seeing how far I, my eye, my camera lens, might travel around its circumference (weave between each upright). We are all doing this, in procession.”
(refs. The transition from linguistic-mythic to material-symbolic culture is an adaption of Merlin Donal’s system of Cognitive phases by Colin Renfrew in Renfrew, Colin (2003) Figuring it out p113 London, Thames and Hudson)
extract from ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY: ASSIGNMENT 2 a presentation comprehending the role that visual culture plays in heritage understanding and interpretation
(re)searching ‘Buddo’ as ‘mother goddess’, Hoy Sound, Orkney (with Lucy Gresley)
“what form could there be that would better express the satisfaction of those needs [food, shelter, warmth, safety, children] than this small, carved, fecund female? Unless it were the form of a whole hilly landmass, built-up and carved and shaped into the pregnant body of a woman……so that by walking on the land, you walked on the torso of her divinity, you explored her breasts, her armpits, the space between her thighs, or ran the endless ripple and swell of her back for mile after mile”
(refs. Woodman, Marion (1993) Leaving my father’s house: a journey to conscious femininity; post title inspired by Janet Mullarney’s My minds i (2015) IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland)
Elaine Fisher and Lucy Gresley ‘Buddo’ (2017) part
what seemed appropriate (successful?) in a collaborative approach was that it was subjective, yes, but there was also a plurality to that subjectivity that wouldn’t quite let ‘Buddo’ settle. Yes we brought ourselves to the process but we also left ourselves. Rather than finding common ground we encountered a kind of sediment, the settlement that occurs as thoughts and feelings aired gently find their own temporary resting place together. A suspension of text over image allowed a view through, between and beyond. The view could have been other and both elements could have been different. This was a muddy response to a muddy assignment.
The very nature of the collaborative process meant that we captured a moment in time, time spent (with the concept of ‘Buddo’) in relation. In this way we encountered ‘Buddo’ as many different people have before us, at a particular point in the trajectory of our understanding of the world. A temptation to edit, to tweak and improve our assignment response, was removed. Hindsight is not an option in this way of working and Hindsights would have retuned ‘Buddo’ to a new suspension, equally but differently uncertain.
a response to ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY: ASSIGNMENT 1 a visual essay, outlining and critically assessing the entanglement of visual culture, in the processes of collection, curation and display
Todays entanglement is a coincidental reading of Cochrane and Russell’s manifesto for a visual archaeology (on my Art and Archaeology module reading list) and George Yule’s ‘the study of language’ (an impulse purchase).