After graduating from Art College in 1952, I slowly began to find my way within the demands that the radical departures from traditional modern canonical norms in the culture at large and the 20th century visual art world in particular presented to me. It would have been easy to lose my way amid the deconstruction and relativism of the postmodern world if I was looking for some degree of philosophical certainty.
With the potential of promise on the one hand and hazard on the other, I embarked on a quest for meaning in a time of fundamental change. I adopted a mythic, narrative mode of expression in the early 1960s that allowed my drawn, painted and sculptural forms to function as metaphors symbolizing this quest. I could not have arrived at this point in my understanding without the clues afforded me by the work of three luminaries in particular: Mythologist Joseph Campbell, analytical psychologist Carl Jung, and psychologist Erich Neumann. While there were several other profoundly important deep thinkers to come to my awareness in an ever expanding spiral of significance over the years, Campbell, Jung, and Neumann introduced me to the invisible forces that reside in the substratum of our personal and collective lives. By extension, these forces form the social, cultural, technological, and religious climate out of which our art forms arise, ever dynamic and ever in flux in the long term.
I did not look to the art world for answers in this regard as it was in a free-fall of deconstruction away from traditional modern aesthetic values. This was clearly evidenced by the steady stream of “isms” that followed one after the other over the course of the 20th century. I found any traces of nihilism and sardonic irony such as can be found in the followers of Marcel Duchamp to be particularly unappealing to me. I was naturally inclined to search for essence, for the root causes that set in motion the events of the day. While I came to some intellectual understanding of the context that gave impetus to Dadaism in the earlier years of the 20th century, the use of irony as a substitute for a deeper expression of significance, did not suffice to gain my trust.
As I came to see it, what was called for was a workable connection which can be symbolically expressed between the the transitory and the enduring, consciousness and the unconscious, both personal and collective, in response to the cultural needs of the current age which in its turning, calls for reconciliation amounting to a renewed worldview of integration and cohesion. In this regard it is essential to to understand the manner by which we may discern the advent of an emerging vision that will inform a new constellation of transpersonal values in a new enhanced worldview.