Access Contemporary Art Centre, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, 1990
Cross-cultural references and psychological understandings of the human condition are central to this body of work, which emerged in anticipation of a two-month journey to Mexico and Central America in 1989. This determined the restricted and muted colour palette, new to me. The work is figurative in nature with references to landscape, faded pre-Columbian murals and cave paintings.
Whilst the female figure predominated in earlier work reflecting concerns of womanhood, sexuality and procreation, in Animist Images, male figures emerge and the previously evident autobiographical references have been replaced by a transpersonal or symbolic quality. Thematically the work again incorporates concerns about birth and the dance of life but extends to include notions of primitivism/animism, childhood, and the complexity and ambiguity of social and psychological relationships. I have drawn inspiration from observation of children ‘playing’ in art making. Seeing art as a mediator between the conscious and the unconscious I have set up studio processes that enable easier access to the unconscious, incorporating random chance to create a multiplicity of starting points across several works simultaneously and on overlays of paper. The resulting images take on a quality somewhat akin to dreams; the emotional impact is immediate but the exact meaning is often elusive, boundaries are not always clear, relationships often ambiguous.