Dean Melbourne and I travelled to Bruton in Somerset for our first exploratory meeting with Jungian psychoanalyst Catherine Bygott.
Catherine has lectured and led numerous seminars and workshops in the UK and Ireland over the past twenty-five years on Jung’s ‘Red Book’, the structure and dynamics of the psyche, and its amplification through alchemy, fairytale and active imagination. We feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to listen to her expertise and to have her guide us towards integrating Jungian concepts, alchemical and mythological metaphors, and active imagination processes into our respective practices.
The image below shows the double face of alchemy – laboratory and library – which corresponds to Jung’s individuation process and also the artistic process. The active dialoguing with the outer world alongside the process of inner reflection.
This initial meeting was largely for us to listen to each other so she could understand where we are coming from in our practices and in our personal individuation journeys and exploring how we would integrate the two using the tools of mythology and alchemy. Individuation is a Jungian process by which the personal and collective unconscious are brought into consciousness to reveal one’s whole personality. In short: it is the process of becoming self-actualized. Dean and I have been separately working with Jungian analytical therapists on our individuation journeys before looking to extend these concepts into our artistic practices.
We discussed the role artists play in the collective consciousness and also the idea of not releasing work until it is “ready”. The idea of an authentic artwork first needing to do its work with the artist before being given over to the world. We made plans for our next meeting on the 3rdMay where we will continue our three way conversations and Catherine will lead us in some specific explorative exercises around our topics of interest.