Title

Artist's Statements

Publication Year

2014

Keywords

Greek goddesses, Aphrodite, spiritual development, human development, psychology

Disciplines

Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Religion

Abstract

In her commentary on the goddess Aphrodite, Dr. Ginette Paris writes that an "ancient Greek whose destiny was going badly would ask which divinity he or she had offended. [...] If we understand the Gods and Goddesses as personifications of psychological qualities, then to offend a divinity is to mistreat a part of our personality and our psychological troubles are the divinities' punishment." In other words, the Greek gods and goddesses can be viewed as symbolic or mythological representations of primordial patterns in the human psyche. If viewed from this archetypal perspective, these deities can serve as guides to humans' psycho-spiritual development because an understanding of them can help us understand our own inner life. For this project, Goddess Images, I studied Aphrodite, Artemis Persephone, and Hera from a depth psychological and spiritual perspective, examined how they manifested in my own psyche. I created four images which synthesized my investigation of each deity. My research consisted of several stages. First, I read and compiled a research log on texts about the four goddesses by scholars of mythology and depth psychology. I also studied and practiced active imagination (a Jungian technique which engages the imagination and grants us access to its soulful contents) as explained by psychologist Robert Johnson. To ground my artwork in a larger religious context, I viewed and drew inspiration form Orthodox Christian icons, the Book of Kells, Greek sculpture, and Tibetan thangkas (paintings portraying a deity upon which a practitioner can meditate).

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Religious Studies

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