As a painter, I am mostly interested in the side of our psyche that Carl Jung defined as The Shadow Archetype. And the way to understand this darker side and unlock the hidden is often by examining one’s childhood, for it is childhood experiences that truly shape us – our interests, tastes, dreams, passions, longings, fears, inhibitions and traumas.
I believe that children, although showered with attention and concern in our modern society, are in a way outcasts – mystery creatures whose thoughts and feelings are often hard to decipher. Just like old people, they inspire help and protection, but not necessarily engagement with what goes on in their heads and keeps them awake at night. I am fascinated by those moments in a child’s life which might go completely unnoticed by adults and yet become turning points; moments that change and shape the way the child sees oneself, others, and everything surrounding them.
Upon the premiere of “Tideland”, his screen adaptation of Mitch Cullin's novel about a young girl who survives a decrepit world by relying on her imagination, Terry Gilliam said:
This film is seen through the eyes of a child. If it’s shocking, it’s because it’s innocent.(…) I was 64 years old when I made this film. I think I finally discovered the child within me. It turned out to be a little girl.
I believe that reconnecting with our inner child, facing our most vulnerable side, and rediscovering our long-forgotten hopes and dreams is the necessary path to growth.
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