The Shadow Tree
Etching, Aquatint and Drypoint
40 cm x 50 cm
This project is a series of fifteen original etching prints working as an installation altogether. The subject matter of these images is based on the Shadow Jungian Archetype. This portraits all the hidden qualities, feelings and desires of the personality which are developed especially during childhood. When these features are repressed they evolve into conflicts against the ideal image we set of ourselves. In order to depict this, I made use of pagan and classical iconography from myths related to animal, fertility, and nature. As Christianity spread around Europe these icons were transformed into the devil and his malicious court, relating them to sin. They became the stereotypes of the Shadow, portrayed through folk tales and storytelling as the evil characters that we try not to become in.
The installation can be divided into three rows by subject. The lower row makes a straight reference to the tales where the shadow stereotypes on gender, sex, race, savageness, and power emerge in European culture, created to warn the children about the outside world. The middle row mixes the ancient icons with today's people situations in which the inherited patterns are reflected. Finally, the top branches show nowaday's conflicts that frame the Shadow of our modern society. Such as the false welfare state supported by the exploitation and profit from conflicts in the Middle East, human trafficking, loneliness and the high standards of living performed through social media, the body image making us want to be desirable to others in order to feel accepted and religious customs that shame one's body and individual identity.