Interview with Karena Karras
Carl Jung's writing began to have an impact on my work from the time that I first read “Symbols of Transformation”. It is hard for me to say exactly how Jung's writing informed my work and influenced my perceptions, since there are so many different ideologies that Jung wrote about that have been influential not only in my work but also in my daily life. In reading Jung I began to pay more attention to my dreams and at times parts of these dreams would work their way into a painting. Jung knew that dreams had a definite purpose that helped to reveal to the conscious mind ideologies or concepts that would otherwise have remained hidden deep within our psyche.
So, I began to analyze my dreams and kept a dream journal. Leonora Carrington and I would go to meetings together where we would practice a technique called “focusing”. The technique was developed by Eugene Gendlin, Ph.D., and is a form of self therapy that helps to guide you and awaken you to what lies deep within your subconscious, bringing feelings to the surface where they can be analyzed and resolved. We would sit and tell each other our dreams. One person would talk while another would just listen and then repeat what the dreamer was saying until a point was reached at which the dreamer felt an actual physical release through the telling of this dream. This seemed to me to be a very Jungian approach to getting in touch with the collective unconscious and one’s own psyche.
Before I had encountered Jung’s writings I was reading books by Sri Aurobindo, Wilhelm Reich, Annie Besant, Krishnamurti, to name a few and also books on Alchemy and the occult. Anything dealing with the occult, in the classical Greek meaning of the word as “hidden” knowledge always fascinated me, and so I read whatever I could get my hands on. All of these teachings and relative experiences I had in meditation eventually worked their way into my paintings in one form or another. I feel that everything that we encounter in life that we accept as a part of our conditioned state of existence is in some way informs our work whether we are an artist or not. About January 06, 2007 in Interview Permalink