Who is Shadow Girl?
We all have a shadow. We just don’t know how to get to it.
This body of work started, and continues to grow, because Shadow Girl consciously engages with what Carl Jung calls “the shadow”. In 2010, she was asked by a Jungian therapist to start making “mandalas” (round images that are visual representations of the Self) in their sessions. At the time, Shadow Girl was experiencing panic attacks, anxiety and depression. The suggestion of visually representing her feelings on a piece of paper was frankly- embarrassing and a little terrifying. She wanted to get up in the middle of the session and run out the door. Shadow Girl didn’t run away, however, because she was desperate to find out what was going on with her.
These mandalas are a way to access what is happening underneath the rational, conscious mind and start to treat the deeper issues underneath. It seemed as though Shadow Girl’s unconscious was waiting to come out, because once she started to create these images, a portal began to open to a deeper sense of Self. The more mandalas she made, the richer and more abundant her creativity, and inner life became.
Everyone's shadow is different. For Shadow Girl, the shadow is what she tries to hide behind nice clothes, a big smile and a killer pair of boots. All of her emotions are carefully managed to create an outside appearance of maturity and competence. The shadow is that which she wants to keep hidden and tidy; it is often her fear, anger, and jealousy, feelings of unworthiness or arrogance. She keeps a tight grip on the aspects of herself that she doesn’t like. However, the more hidden they are, the more power these aspects have to control her thoughts and actions, even when she isn’t aware of them. She finds that shadows lose their power when they are brought out of the shadows and into the light, which is what making these mandalas is about.
As Shadow Girl began to pull these fragmented pieces of her unconscious out and put them on the page, she started to integrate all these pieces consciously and put herself back together in what Jung calls “The Individuation Process.” This process is the act of integrating fragments of an individual’s personality, psyche and experiences into a well-functioning whole. Shadow Girl is delighted to share her whole self with you.
“Sexy Beasts” | The Loft in Larchmont | Los Angeles
“Mandala Monster” | Jennifer Joyce Studio & Gallery | Santa Monica
“Dark Things” | University Of California | Berkeley