(aw-tom-uh-tiz-uhm) -Greek prefix aut/auto, meaning “self".
Automatism in art is the process of writing, painting, drawing, or speaking automatically without conscious thought.
In the 1920’s Surrealist artists applied the theory of automatic actions into their artistic practices of writing, drawing and painting in which they adopted from Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical techniques. However, Freud referred to these unconscious flows of thought as "free associations." He explains this idea towards the end of chapter 7.A. in his Interpretation of Dreams.
I have experimented with different modes of artistic expression throughout my life by fearlessly exploring the ideas that manifest in my mind- never wavering from that part of my human path and my longing to create. I have always been open to different subject matter as to create fresh style, and have cultivated joy in bringing something out of my mind and into this reality.
Today, I am inspired by the process of automatism and use this method to tap into the depths of my psyche to give way for my freedom of expression.
As I continue to engage with this method, I take note of the recurrent themes and motifs that are unveiled through my work. Among the various recurring motifs, the spiral, a symbol inherited from the natural world, seems to function as an innate expression of my subconscious. Carl Jung believed the spiral to be an archetypal symbol that represented cosmic force. I find the spiral to be enticing, not only for its mathematical fascination, but particularly for its beauty, and it’s wealth of variation.
My practice of meditation has been the vehicle that allows for me to comfortably tap into my “automatic” self. The two practices, meditation and automatism, then become, the gateway to my unleashed creativity. With each work revealing another part of my Self and unveiling something I did not know could be. Automatism as a therapeutic mode for an ongoing self discovery of the I am artist, and I am a creator that is within me.
- Diane Heron