A NEW exhibition officially opens in the Burren College of Art next Wednesday featuring works by masters in fine arts students, John Freeman and Jill Miller.
Black Eye runs from this Saturday until April 27 and features painting and video installation exploring metaphorical interpretations of sexuality, liminality and fear, while acknowledging the challenge of externalising the personal internal experience.
Ms Miller’s paintings represent an autobiographical understanding of depression and the emotional reactions inherent to these states of consciousness, specifically in relation to experiences of anxiety and fear.
With depression, feelings can often be masked and turned inward and this hidden quality has produced a melancholy outward reaction to internal turmoil. Studying the figure in psychological and conflicted states translated into physical form through body language and gesture is expressed through visual metaphors of stripes, shadows and distortions.
These elements can hide the figure, break her apart or signify imprisonment in one’s mind. The idea of liminality is present as a place of transition, waiting and not knowing, hovering between two or more planes or spaces. Bringing the idea of a constant state of fear-based anxiety into physical, cohesive visual representations through paint is the aim of her MFA exhibition.
Mr Freeman’s current work addresses Carl Gustav Jung’s idea of the anima (the feminine component of the male psyche) and its archetypes. Through his studio and practice-based research, he attempts to separate the feminine psyche from the masculine, externalising this through performance, video and sculpture. This process allows him to physically embody this psychological component, taking on an alter-ego that is very much a part of who he is.
He says of his work, “Jung states that when a man renders himself aware to the woman inside him, he begins an evolutionary journey towards achieving the masculine potential. It is a self-reflexive method, a growth process similar to that of the artist. Reflecting on work of mine, both past and present, this archetypal feminine identity is rendered in an often recurring fashion. By analysing this continuing thread in my work, I have accessed an internal dialogue, leading me to a greater understanding of myself as an artist and as a human being.
“My process externalises the internal, examining the relationship between the different components of the human subconscious, both separately and in flux. It is an experiment in accessing and physically externalising the secret and unimagined in an attempt to come to personal resolve,” he concluded.