When images or stories capture archetypes they resonate deeply with us – in the same way as we just know when we hear if something’s grammatically wrong even if we can’t articulate the exact rule that’s been broken.
This process can help us explore our cultural language, bringing the way these ideas operate for us into the open and allowing us to explore them rationally as well as emotionally. From here we can start conversations about what we want to keep and what we want to challenge from our cultural tropes, and develop important tools with which to understand ourselves and how we interact with others.
I’m a collage artist and have recently been exploring themes of how people work together and relate to each other in groups, and how ideas and principles emerging from the world of permaculture can be applied to human dynamics. In my recent series Character Studies in Plant Life, I used botanical illustrations to explore archetypal personalities and dynamics associated with different numbers. I worked intuitively when putting them together and then related the collages retrospectively to words these numbers are said to symbolise in various cultures.