Marks, motifs, symbols …

I’m collecting marks in my sketchbook. Marks, or motifs, as I (via Fiona Godfrey) have come to think of them. Making, collecting, contemplating – . Some feels like mine, others have to go – even if I love the look of them. I’m not satisfied with using my eyes only. The motifs have to connect on a deeper level. (Almost like the symbol in Jungian psychology).

Here are some motifs that have been allowed to stay –  

sketchbook motif study

sketchbook motif study

As Jung understands and employs the term symbol, it is different from a metaphor in that what it is communicating or presenting to consciousness is utterly untranslatable into any other terms, at least for the time being. Symbols are opaque and often bring thinking to a standstill. Metaphors are transparent and must be so if they are to do their job. The link between signifier and signified is totally opaque in the case of symbols; with metaphors, on the contrary, this link is evident even if often very complicated and at first glance puzzling.

sketchbook motif study

Jung relates the symbol to an understanding of psychological dynamics, and this sets his view apart from other definitions of symbol and the symbolic, such as philosophical or literary ones. His is a psychological definition and is meant to serve the purposes of grasping the meaning of symptoms and images as they appear irrationally in the experience of patients in particular but also in people the world over generally. 

Jung: “The symbol is not a sign that disguises something generally known – a disguise, that is, for the basic drive or elementary intention. Its meaning resides in the fact that it is an attempt to elucidate, by a more or less apt analogy, something that is still entirely unknown or still in the process of formation.” 

One Comment Add yours

  1. bluebrightly says:

    That’s a really nice way to explain the difference between metaphor and symbol. 🙂 And I love the Jung quote. As always, thank you!
    The symbols, or marks in the middle – with yellow – are very appealing to me. There is good energy and hope there!

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