HEALING JOURNEY INTO THE UNCONSCIOUS (triptych), 2015
oil and tempera on board
40 x 80 cm. (15.7 x 31.4 inches)
The story begins in the left panel where the “soul” sits on top of the stairs, not wanting to go down into the subconscious to meet the shadow, which is waiting at the lower left. In the central panel, the soul, shown as anima and animus at the lower left, is shown with suitcases, waiting for a train to take them on their journey.
At the center is the struggle with negative forces, symbolized by nude figures holding a liquor bottle, a gun, a cigarette, and playing cards. At the lower right is the struggle for the soul between the “good” figure dressed in blue, and the “evil figure” holding a money bag.
In the right panel, the soul ascends to heaven. In the background, in the arches, are ascended master figures that assist in the process. The narrative is based on the psychological theories of Carl Jung, specifically the idea of going down into the unconscious to meet the shadow, and the concept of anima and animus. Much of the imagery is taken from film noir, including the use of stairways, the clothing of the anima and animus figures, the suitcases, and the train tracks. Also, the struggle with the shadow is represented by vices typically depicted in film noir.
I made this painting during the 2015 winter trimester of the Vienna Academy of Visionary Art under the direction of Kuba Ambrose, Vera Atlantia, and Laurence Caruana. The painting process began with a meditation journey given by Kevin Campeau to help students get an idea for their painting. The combination of oil and tempera is a technique perfected by Ernst Fuchs and was taught at the school.