Jessy Maya Boon Cowler

 

My work is a form of divination, a spiritual and cathartic practice that helps me connect to and understand what is happening in my subconscious.
The starting point may be a photographic archive of my own, or a book or a material that I’m particularly drawn to.
I will spend time with it, familiarise myself with it; read it, feel it, build a relationship with it, and listen to what arises in the process. I must enter a certain state of mind, a meditative state, similar to that used in the act of divination; similar to that of Automatism. Then I will begin to intervene; cutting, ripping, selecting, deleting – see how it feels, acting impulsively and compulsively. Throughout I will pause and reflect: what is working? What can I leave behind? Are there any signs, symbols appearing? What might they mean, what do they remind me of?
I will then make more deliberate actions based on the outcomes of these reflections to formulate a path, sometimes a set of rules to continue playing by; similar to divination, a practice I’ve been using since I was a child. Whereas I consult the I Ching, the placement of the planets, or decorated cards to understand which choices I want to make in daily life, I read the shapes I cut or the atmospheres I create to understand what is happening in my subconscious.
This can take hours, days, weeks, months, years. Each project has a life of it’s own.
The process is cathartic: at once destructive – destroying the original material – as well as transformative, evolving, and transmuting. It’s a release of energy, a physical outlet, cardio or yoga for the brain. The results are a byproduct of emotional catharsis.

 

Jessy makes up residence at Can Serrat during August-September 2022