If one were to stare out of the window for sometime, one could perhaps notice the buildings, urban landscapes, people walking or passing by and many other things that are part of everyday life. While these things differ depending on where the window is located, and also what one chooses to see through that window, one could understand that the colours, sounds and other sensual information are part of the collective unconscious. One may not realize but what one sees through this window could be either a projection of ones thoughts or part of the landscape that forms the collective unconscious of humans.
It is fascinating, to say the least to notice details of everyday life and how today’s society’s collective unconscious is forced on the canvas one sees through this window. The window itself could be metaphorical and allude to a point of view which enables one to think, observe and notice things around oneself. Abstract Expressionists have explored the ideas that take form in reality and how these ideas emerge from the unconscious mind. An abstract expressionist may not try too hard, but what is created is never an accident, but is either a carefully planned result or the unconscious mind forcing itself out of the abyss that it is stuck in.
Hence, a painter may hold a tube of paint and dance around the canvas laid on the floor and let the paint fall, and then create a landscape that emerges from the unconscious. Abstract Expressionism might have been a reaction and opposition to the European monopoly of art, communism, and also the stifling nature in which American artists after the World War II lived, under the well established and conventional artists. Hence Abstract Expressionism has been a rebellious response to what has or had been considered ‘established’. The movement had a parallel and analogous response in Paris where Tachisme explored similar themes of the abstract and the expressive nature of the unconscious.
Jamie Gibson is an artist who is currently participating in a Fine Art program at the Chester University. Originally from Hull, he has been painting for about five years now and his work addresses the bridge that exists between everyday life and the abstract expressive nature of today’s society, in his words. He has produced many sculptures, paintings, installations, prints, audio and photographical works. Influenced by Abstract Expressionist Franz Kline and Frank Stella, he derives inspiration from many other artists such as conceptual artist Anthony Caro.
His paintings reveal urban architecture and the unconscious schemas that are registered in ones minds, when one thinks about these common occurrences in life. Jamie Gibson uses acrylic paint and masking tape on canvas or wood. Instead of using brushes, he uses wood and plastic to apply paint, which results in a mechanical and industrial aesthetic. He doesn’t use many colours and are used sparingly. Jamie seems to use these limited options of colours to reveal the nature of collective unconscious which exists within a society. The lines and curves of buildings, the sounds of automobiles, the steps to a nondescript building, fences, the subway, and other material registered in the society’s unconscious.
Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious is a theme that has been discussed for decades and perhaps in Jamie’s works one could see the unconscious material shared by the members of a society. This material perhaps exists in abstract lines and curves, and maybe that is how one knows what one is seeing or experiencing, without ever having encountered it ever in life. Minimal usage of colours and the industrial aesthetic suggest today’s society’s capability to absorb all colours and stark contrasts, resulting in a homogenous environment.
Jamie Gibson explores how society or culture can be expressed in an abstract manner, and how the unconscious material inherited from the society one lives in registers in an almost photographical negative in people’s minds. It would be unfair to categorize Jamie Gibson under a particular ‘ism’ for his works reveal a fertile ground of imagination and talent.