Individuasie-prosesse in geselekteerde mandala-skilderye van Bettie Cilliers-Barnard
This dissertation focuses on the way in which the South African artist Bettie Cilliers-Barnard managed to concretise her innermost thoughts and feelings in selected mandala paintings, specifically Mandala II (1991), Wind directions (2001) and Birds heralding the Light (2007) during the last phase of her life. The image of the mandala, which is symbolically understood to be an organisational structure of unconscious processes, is read and interpreted by means of Jungian concepts such as the individuation process and the concept of the Self. Jung was especially interested in coming to terms with the circle as characteristic of the mandala’s psychological influence on a person. In Jung’s theorising, the unconscious the creative process plays an important part in the concretisation of the psyche. Cilliers-Barnard was interested in both the nature of the creative process as well as the mandala as symbol. The dissertation emphasises the development of Cilliers-Barnard’s intuitive and spontaneous painting process and contextualises her influence in the South African art landscape. A number of parallels have been drawn between the Russian-German artist Wassily Kandinsky and Cilliers-Barnard with regard to both spiritual and intuitive artistic processes as well as the representation of the circle that is found repeatedly in paintings by both artists. In the oeuvres of both artists these approaches are a way of reproducing inner and unintentional experiences. Cilliers-Barnard added meaningful content to her works by combining ideas gleaned from her emotions, soul and mental processes. By focusing on the individuation processes in the mandalas by Cilliers-Barnard mentioned above, the dissertation sets out to demonstrate how she uses both form and content in her artworks in order to establish a type of inner dialogue. This inner dialogue, which in terms of form includes especially the circle, other geometric motifs as well as the bird, the tree and on a more abstract level the family, is used as symbolic point of departure for reading the representative artworks with the final focus on a type of simplification and summary of the convictions of her soul.
- Humanities