This body of work examines damaged masculine energy and a path to healing and wholeness with particular reference to the South African context.
South Africa is a country beset by violence and the vast majority of that violence is committed by men. Carl Jung’s theory that the male has anima (female) tendencies in his psyche and a female has animus (male) tendencies in her psyche. When the anima (female) is allowed to express herself through a man’s psyche, she brings attributes of tenderness, friendship, compassion, and love. I considered then that when men commit violence it must be an expression of a deeply unbalanced and damage psyche.
This work draws on both Western thought and Eastern philosophy. Carl Jung said, ‘Our psyche is set up in accord with the structure of the universe, and what happens in the macrocosm likewise happens in the infinitesimal and most subjective reaches of the psyche.’’ -C. G. Jung. Likewise Yogic (Indian) philosophy, states that reality is composed of both masculine and feminine qualities, Shiva and Shakti as well as Chinese philosophy, with the yin/yang principle. I’m interested that a balance between masculine and feminine is needed in both the microcosm (individual) and the macrocosm (universal) for wholeness.
There are three particular iconographies used in these works. Images of soccer, the rider and the tree. Soccer (football), being the most populist sport in South Africa, is a sport, in which a healthy form of masculine energy can be expressed. Soccer is a sport where there is a balance between both animus (male) and anima (female) traits. One needs to be competitive, assertive, at times analytical in thought, show strength, vitality, decisiveness, a focused attentiveness, and a desire for achievement, all animus (male) traits in a healthy psyche. The anima (female) traits are also needed, co-operation, commitment, imagination and creativity.
The football pitch is a metaphor for Buddhist Mandalas and used as a representation of the universe. The place where the ‘game of life’ is played. The work also examines the theory of ‘Karma’. The rider/horse relates to vitality, health and sexuality and the tree relates to the ‘Tree of life’. The ‘Tree of Life’ represents the self, in an eternal drive to wholeness, an integration of both masculine and feminine principles in the individual self.