In this post I am sharing recent printmaking work inspired by personal explorations into what Carl Jung called the “imaginal realm”.
A very short story
In 2009, before I moved away from the east coast, I viewed a show at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. The show featured “The Red Book” by Carl Jung, which had never been available for exhibition before. I had read much of Jung’s work over the years and jumped on the train for a chance to see it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Book_(Jung)
I spent all the time that I could to study the pages of art which Jung had created from his own explorations of his personal imaginal realm. Without going into this topic too much, it is a way of restraining the conscious mind so that images from the “collective unconscious” may by explored.
For an artist, this imaginal realm is a treasure of endless images to work with! Many techniques can be used to make this exploration; among them are forms of meditation, shamanism and dream work. An abundance of information on this topic is online already, so no need to elaborate on that.
I am sharing a recent work from my personal explorations into this realm, the most recent one shown here is called “The Queen of the Nagas”. This archetype appears on and off in my dream world. And I felt the need to give her image a boost into this ordinary world by means of a technique called a “collagraph”. This is a way of creating textured images and, by using inks of various viscosity, it is possible to build-up multiple colors onto one plate.
What is a Naga?
They are mythic Buddhist serpent people who have great powers, guard inner treasures, and you definitely want to stay on their good side according to the myths. As protecting nature spirits, they don’t like people polluting their rivers, streams or oceans. They bring rain, wealth, and fertility when honored. I imagine they are not very happy with humans these days. The link shows more information about Nagas and their myths world wide. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/naga
In terms of artistic explorations with printmaking this image took me some time to work out. But I enjoyed it very much. I have been creating a number of images symbolically related to climate change recently, so this is one more. I used several printmaking techniques, as indicated in the caption.