"Do we ever understand what we think? We only understand that thinking
which is a mere equation, and from which nothing comes out but what we
have put in. That is the working of the intellect. But beyond that there is a
thinking in primordial imagesin symbols which are older than historical
man; which have been ingrained in him from earliest times, and, still make
up the groundwork of the human psyche. It is only possible to live the
fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a
return to them. It is neither a question of belief nor of knowledge,
but of the agreement of our thinking with the primordial images of the
unconscious. They are the source of all our conscious thoughts..."
C.G. Jung in Modern Man in Search of a Soul
In everyone's life the question eventually ariseswho am I, really, and what is my task in life? My art is an attempt to answer that question through a dialogue with the unconscious, the deepest layer of the human psyche. It is as though the unconscious desires this dialogue because the more attention one pays to it, the subtler and more meaningful the images it offers up to consciousness become. It seems to have messages for us, even critiques of our lives and displays an urge to take us down our own specific path. Each path is, of course, totally individual but at the same time very similar in that our lives are a response to a unique period of history. Perhaps, as you accompany me here for a while on my journey, you will see something of yourself or experience yourself from a new perspective. Jung said that the people who are finding new ways to cope with a changing world form a sort of secret church. It is not that they are hiding anything but that they do not always have the words to describe their feeling about life. They are in touch with an eternal element that seeks a renewed expression in our lives; they are explorers of the unseen aspects of human existence in a place that Eastern thought has named the Jewel World.
"The first form of our existence is a life in archetypes. Children live in
this form before they can say 'I'. This world of the collective unconscious
is so wonderful that children are continually being drawn back into it and
can separate themselves from it only with difficulty. There are children who
never lose the memory of this psychic background, so extraordinary are the
wonders it holds. These memories continue to live in symbols. The Hindus
call it the Jewel World or 'manidvipa', the jewel island in the sea of
Jung in The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga
When I read this passage I felt it described my painting Jewel World (portraying a jewel in a sea of nectar) and I took the title of the painting from this text. It also, I think, describes the source of an artist's images. I feel I am one of those who was able to maintain a connection to the Jewel World and it is this world that my art would convey.