Unveiling the Veiled Muse: The Enigmatic Role of Subconscious in Art by Meena Chopra

Meena Chopra

American painter Jackson Pollock eloquently stated, "When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It's only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I've been about.


As an artist, I've always been fascinated by the intricate link between creativity and the subconscious mind. I always feel that the subconscious self has an innate, profound and enigmatic role in shaping the world of art, infusing it with a depth and authenticity that can only be glimpsed through the deepest workings of the mind.

There's an almost mystical quality to the way the subconscious mind serves as a wellspring of inspiration. It's as if a hidden treasure trove of ideas, emotions, and imagery lies beneath the surface, waiting to be exploited, unearthed and to be brought to life on the canvas or on any chosen artistic medium. Some of my most unique and intriguing art ideas have emerged unknowingly from the depths of my subconscious, guiding me towards unexplored territories and uncharted creative waters of the hidden self.


What's truly remarkable is how one's latent being seamlessly weaves symbols and metaphors while creating an artwork. These symbols often carry personal significance that may not be immediately evident, yet they infuse the work with layers of complexity and depth. As if the submerged self comes to the surface in the act of “creative flow," where the artist in me takes over in a kind of oneness, getting deeply engaged with an 'idea'. This creative flow can be attributed to a deep hidden world of mind. Perhaps the subconscious self-starts communicating in a language of symbols, allowing to convey emotions and narratives that go beyond the limitations of words alone.


I've often found myself making instinctual choices in terms of color palettes, shapes, and compositions. These choices, driven by an intuition that goes beyond rational thought, contribute to the authenticity and spontaneous flow of the artwork. It's as if the subconscious whispers its guidance, leading me down a path that feels right, even if I can't always pin point and explain why.


Many times, through art, I've been able to express complex feelings that might elude verbal articulation. As if the latent within became a conduit for emotions participating in a creative flow. Perhaps it's a therapeutic outlet and it allows me to process emotions buried within the recesses of my mind. This emotional resonance translates into my work, creating a bridge between my inner world and the external canvas.


I feel, because art is rooted with the latent and hidden part of human consciousness, it can at times challenge logical thinking, guiding us towards unconventional approaches. It might not always conform to traditional narratives, inviting viewers to interpret and engage with the work on an emotional and subliminal level. Famous artist Henri Matisse once said, "Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play." This spirit of playfulness and curiosity fuels one's journey into the depths of the subconscious, unlocking doors to ideas and inspiration, something which can’t be consciously conjured.


I realize that the creative journey is not just a linear process—it's a multidimensional and a cyclic experience that keeps on intertwining the conscious with the hidden. 


As I navigate the intricate labyrinth of artistic creation, I am humbled by the role of that hidden and subtle self. A role that transcends time and culture, linking artists across centuries through a shared connection to the deeper recesses of the human experience. Through dreams, symbols, and intuition, I become a silent collaborator, infusing my art with a depth and authenticity that springs from the very essence of ‘who I am. It's an exploration that reminds me that art is not just an external endeavor—it's a journey within to a journey without.


As Carl Jung wisely noted, "The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play of instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." 

Below, the select artworks that illustrate this complex process:



Bio:

Meena Chopra is a Canadian Indian poet, a visual artist, designer, art curator and a producer of art and literary events. She writes both in English and her native Hindi language.

Website: https://www.meenachopra.art/

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