The Anima / Persona series began as an exploration of the persona (external projection of self) and the anima (inner soul). These digital collage portraits were influenced in part by Symbolist paintings.
As a young art student I was fascinated by the symbolist painters. I later learned that many of these artists worked from misogynist fears stemming from their discovery that the Victorian notion that women did not have a sexual nature was untrue, and of the nascent women’s movement for equality.
The elements of the Symbolist work that I found of interest were their reaction against the mundane, the banal, and bourgeoisie normalcy of the late 19th century. They depicted women as chimera, sphinx, and as mysterious unknown creatures. As my work progressed I to used some of the Symbolist concepts to express the exotic, the spiritual, and esoteric qualities of women.
In many of the images I have partially veiled a woman’s face. The layer of translucent texture can suggest uncovering the individual’s inner emotions, symbolize aging, or can create a sense of the individual’s complexity. Annette Fournet
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