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Death and the seed

Life as a profusion and spiral of growth. The seed is a dancer, lying asleep in the arms of death.

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The White Man

THE WHITE MAN, oil on canvas board 60 x 50 cm, framed.

He represents the masculine force in man and woman alike, the yang force, and also consciousness.

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Split femininity

In SPLIT FEMININITY, MARY MAGDALENE AND BARBIE (1992, reworked 2004) we see two women in two moon crescents. The two women are mother and daughter: in this image, the mother represents the basic psychological pattern and structure of the personality, while the daughter is the life manifesting from this structure as real lived life and influenced by the culture. As opposites they are forever in conflict and struggling to restore the relationship again. Read more

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The Rhizome

This image is made up of a large flower growing out of a stone, with a rainbow ring around it. The flower is an Iceland poppy, which is a delicate spring-flower. The opening up of this flower is particularly wonderful: a large pod suddenly bursts and then, before your astonished eyes, the flower unfolds, almost like a butterfly from a cocoon.

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung says in the prologue p 4:

“Life has always seemed to me like a plant which lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away – an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.”

From: The Old Woman and the Moon, page 98.

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The Way

The way I follow and the seeking is like a pregnancy. My modern life is contained by an ancient pattern of growth and becoming.

Nine women are following one after the other. It is the nine stages of the Way, simulating a pregnancy. They are on their way towards the burning water, the integration of the opposites and the point of transformation. The group of women on the left side is divided by a small man with a sword, a trickster figure; this becomes then Thoth, the baboon god of wisdom: the animus changes from negative to positive. In the background is an extract from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The old Egyptians believed that the soul was weighed at the time of death. The price one pays, the sacrifice, must have the right weight: one cannot pay for the sins of others.

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The Bundle

One accepts one’s dependency on God or a  Greater Power and one learns to revere life.

I made this rather hastily and carelessly, with the outbreak of the war in the Middle-East in 2003. In my mind was a piece of wood and the idea of carving a pattern. The name announced itself: The bundle, but also the bone of contention, related to the cradle of humankind.

I realized that the piece of wood has the shape of the mummy bundles found high in the Andes. At the same time it simulates a ritual mask: at center I discovered shadowy slits of two eyes, and beneath that a protruding tongue, reminiscent of the ancient Indian goddess, Kali, the Terrible, as the origin of all things. She is sitting on top of the face of a man in agony, symbolizing the suffering caused by the life without conscious meaning.

The top end of the wooden mask resembles an owl, Kali’s bird, which would fit in with the theme of this image: as a bird of the night, it is associated with death, but it also has a uterine shape for it contains and nurtures with its wisdom; one feels contained if one is able to find objectivity and meaning in this suffering.

The pattern, carved out in wood, is the meandering way one trots over the course of one’s life, seeking, making choices. My feet wrote this map of my life. It is connected to the DNA of my being, the seed of my future.

The blue background I found to shape the profile of a man, his brow, nose and chin, on the right-hand side, and on the left, the profile of a woman with a rather long nose and full lips can be seen. The heads of the man and woman, the opposites, are unified and they are looking downwards or bending their heads, as if revering the deity, keeping it in their thoughts.

In ancient times and all over the world, children were sacrificed to please the gods,  just as our own inner original innocent wholeness is sacrificed to life by the immature and unconscious cruel deeds of our parents and significant others, or as we do in our turn to our children. By finding meaning and purpose in the sacrifice, one is able to accept one’s life and one’s own place in the world, one’s dependency on a larger Power.

From The Old Woman and the Moon, p. 78

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The Zebra-Fish

Life is a mystery. The fish from the deep, looks upon the individual with love; love and modesty reigns, not power and possession.

“This place and period of time is where the opposites meet and may integrate: above and below, white and black, warm blooded and cold blooded, a lengthy and stormy affaire, but it is also the dawn of a new time.

“The image came from a dream, many years ago, during a period of extreme pressure. This enchanted place fascinated me for years, and it took me a very long time to understand how to ‘say’ this. It was my inspiration through many dark-soul nights and the canvas is heavy with a great many layers of paint.

“At center are two strange animals, fantastic animals, from my dream. They live on an island.  The zebrafish has the shape of a duck, with the head of a horse and the body of a fish. Much later it also sprouted a horn as unicorn. The sky is aflame with color and light at dawn. In the foreground at right is a spectator, with the marks of the fish on his face; it is the shaman, or the animus, the connecting figure to the unconscious.

“After years of the meandering way, one has arrived at the edge of the water, a threshold place, and stands in awe before the mystery…” ~ The Old Woman and the Moon, p. 102

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Mary Magdalene and Barbie

In the eye of the Magdalene the mulberry woman sees the split in inner wholeness, but also the possibility of healing the lost connection. Deeply-seated anxiety encapsulates the connection to life, the inner fire.

THE MARY MAGDALENE 1992
Oil on canvas board 60 x 50 cm
THE MULBERRY WOMAN
Oil on canvas board 127 x 70 cm
2003 – 2012

Two women protect the feminine fire, the mother and daughter aspects of the feminine. Together they form the eye of wisdom, the old woman, third of the three goddesses. The mother and daughter are in moon horns, which were the originating idea, ancient symbols of the feminine, also found with the Venus of Laussel, 20,000 – 18,000 B.C.E.[1], related to the old bull ceremonies.

The two women are spinning and emitting in this way green energy. As opposites they are in eternal inner conflict, but also continuously healing the conflict by connecting again; eternally splitting, connecting, splitting, connecting. The Old Woman and the Moon, p. 26

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[1] Buffie Johnson, Lady of the beasts, p. 321

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Sun-Child

The mercurial sun-child steals my fire and drops my lire into the sea. The sun-child is the voice of my deepest truth, the voice of nature which is confronting me all the time.

“The sun-child ruled out of the deeply seated primeval chaos of my life, disturbing me to pay attention to things I wanted to ignore.  I experienced him as part of the chaos and thought that life itself was against me.

“The harmony is disrupted: the musical instrument goes back into the unconscious; by working on the feeling of ‘disharmony’, some aspect of my feminity and inner child manifests, whereupon a new situation arises, a new one-sidedness, which needs to be addressed as good as I can, never perfect.” From The Old Woman and the Moon, p. 30

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The Ochre Line

The seed of the tree falls in the dark earth. Painfully it breaks open and grows towards the light, the higher principle. Growing is a heaping up of small things, through many moments of struggling, fighting the Holy Wind, the formative powers, to find meaning in life, building awareness one step at a time, until one learns how to go with the Wind, how to transcend the pain of daily existence and shed new seed for a new day.

THE OLD WOMAN AND THE MOON, p. 8

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