This month’s featured artist is Tiggis, a psychotherapist who uses art to explore the unconscious mind. Discover more from Tiggis on The Conscious Mind Collection.
An Interview with Tiggis:
Our May 2019 Sketchbook Prompts Winner!
Name: Tiggis, operating under The Conscious Mind Collection
Country: the U.K.
Places: lived in Japan for 3 years, Malaysia for 1 year. Travelled through Europe, South East Asia and India
Passions: Carl Jung, Katsushika Hokusai, Chuah Thean Teng, the study of different cultures, religions and belief systems, psychology, the conscious mind and levels of conscious awareness, the meaning of life, daily meditation practice.
Creative Works: The Conscious Mind Collection (2009–2019: 75 paintings, 7 Series)
Favourite Quote: “When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it” – Meister Eckhart
Website: The Conscious Mind Collection
I started painting as part of an experiment to explore the unconscious mind through the medium of art. My original intention was to work with a recurring dream image that I was struggling to make sense of. I thought that pausing on the image, to capture it and to allow a wider composition to come to life around it, might help me to connect in a different way with the image and to gain a deeper understanding of what it was trying to communicate to me. In 2009, I undertook some training in Jungian dream analysis, bought a sketchbook and started something that would ultimately change my life.
As the early results from the experiment began to reveal themselves, I very quickly understood that this process was enabling me to connect to something special and very important. By the time that I had completed the third painting, I had decided to officially name the experiment The Conscious Mind Collection and to commit to pursuing this visual communication with the unconscious for as long as the images continued to arise.
Ten years later, I have 75 paintings, over 7 series. Each painting has marked a point in my life, sometimes present, sometimes past, that has required a pause and a deeper exploration than it may have received in everyday life. The paintings have taken me to the deepest depths, pulled apart everything that I knew (or thought that I knew) and have forced me to clear away and start again. They have astounded me, terrified me, ripped out my heart and then given me the insight to recover and to experience moments of peace and joy that I could never have imagined.
The paintings and the collection as a whole have enabled me to draw a map of my soul.
I am forever grateful to the work for challenging me and supporting me to grow, for teaching me and for pushing me to go where I didn’t want to go, because I needed to and because, ultimately, life is about experiencing and learning, not hiding or shying away.
Time to Sleep
No. 4 in The Hidden Light Series (2017)
No. 59 in The Conscious Mind Collection
Which prompt did you choose to work with this month, and why?
I chose to work with “my favourite room in the house.” I chose this one because rooms and houses as symbolic images of the psyche, or parts of the psyche, have been a predominant theme in my work since The Hidden Light Series (2017).
Water, the act of cleansing and rituals around bathing or spiritual cleansing have been really important in understanding the processes necessary to recover, rejuvenate and evolve through life, both psychologically and spiritually.
Water, in its many different forms, has also been a constant throughout my work, from the first tsunami wave through to the snowflake on the mountain peak, and many oceans in between.
What inspires your creativity most?
My creativity has always been about connecting with the inner world first. I have been greatly assisted in this by a daily meditation practice and the use of meditation journalling (thank you, Paperblanks!). This I have used to help me to tap into the images that have needed to arise in order to discover and explore another “part of the map.”
From the external world, I have been influenced by my daily life, world events and, in a richer sense, by the people, places and lives that I have met on my journey so far.
I have been especially inspired by my long standing love of Japan and South East Asia, the influences of which can be seen on a much more obvious level in the work completed over the last two years.
The Swallow and The Crane
No. 1 in The Earth & Heaven Series (2018)
No. 68 in The Conscious Mind Collection
Pasar Malam (The Night Market)
No. 1 in The Hidden Light Series (2017)
No. 56 in The Conscious Mind Collection
Any advice you would like to share with aspiring artists?
Try to experience and become familiar with the space below active thinking and allow the images to arise naturally.
Try not to superimpose what you think you want to draw over the images that need to arise. I tried to draw an ox repeatedly for three years before it was time for the ox to arrive, and then, of course, it did so without effort.
Explore the world of symbolism and imagery to help you to interpret the communications and expand conscious awareness.
The Hidden Light
No. 5 in The Hidden Light Series (2017)
No. 60 in The Conscious Mind Collection
Are you working on any new projects you would like to share with us?
I’ve just completed ten years working on the collection. Next, I would like to take some time to go back to the work and give it the attention and space to allow the next layer of understanding to emerge. Alongside this, my plan is to move on to a more active sharing of the work with exhibitions and writing being a part of that.
The River Flows Backward
No. 4 in The Mountain Peak Series (2017–2018)
No. 64 in The Conscious Mind Collection
Poem: The Snowflake on the Mountain Peak
The map of me
Has become clearer to see
But over years
Of poking and peeking
And facing the fears
Of peeling back layers
And allowing the tears to flow
Even though their torrent formed mudslides
And left nowhere to hide anymore
But that was the ultimate point
What use is a map that cannot join me to me
Because of bits I daren’t see?
How will that guide to where I need to be?
And so, I got washed away by a giant wave
In order to find my way
To the circular cave
At the base of the mountain
That I know will save me from the sea
As I return to be
The snowflake on the mountain peak
The Snowflake on the Mountain Peak
Heaven on Earth (Letting Go)
No. 4 in The Heaven on Earth Series (2018–2019)
No. 74 in The Conscious Mind Collection
Thank you, Tiggis!
Be sure to visit The Conscious Mind Collection to see more of Tiggis’ work.
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