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The Rorschach Series

17 July 2014

The Rorschach series of paintings stem from a lifelong fascination with the inkblot tests pioneered by Hermann Rorschach in 1921. These tests were used to determine their subject’s emotional responses to a specific set of repetitive visual stimuli and attempted to reveal something of a deeper psychology and enable an understanding of the emotional functioning of the subject.  In this set of paintings, the initial sense of the inkblot test is mostly obscured, yet the imagery stems from visual cues deciphered from the initial self made ‘tests’. Inevitably the final imagery reveals something of the creator’s psychology whilst being ambiguous enough to leave room for the viewer’s personal interpretation.  

In the ‘Selfie’ series, the imagery relates to a sense of the darker side of the psyche rather than a surface image and is perhaps a response to the multitude of ‘selfies’ that we witness in social media of all forms every day. Images that at once seem to be promoting a sense of a positive self image yet nevertheless seem to betray their desperation in looking for an external sense of affirmation and worthiness.  The ‘Selfie’ series seems to work on different levels: initially the nature of the diptych with its broken image gives a certain tension to the painting, then on the level that we relate to the word, ‘selfie’ and  the contradiction in the expectation of the image.  On a psychological level ideas are being explored around ego, consciousness and our attempts not to reveal our true sense of who we are. The  Rorschach series of paintings also relate to the everyday media in which we are shown the results of people betraying their true animalistic nature, sexually, in conflict, in anger, in jealousy and in war.  

As Tom Waits once said, ‘We are all just monkeys with money and guns’.

 

Brilliant! Thanks Sarah....