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The transpersonal in shadow and self : finding catharsis in the second half of life through the visual arts, referencing Deborah Bell, Colin Richards and Paula Hulley.

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This dissertation explores the relevance of the transpersonal approach in research. In an historical overview the value of the transpersonal in visual arts is discussed with particular reference to Deborah Bell, Colin Richards and my own journey in creative practice. The study examines the terms self, shadow, catharsis, and the second half of life in relation to painting and the use of mixed media in visual arts. This dissertation illustrates, through selected works of Deborah Bell, Colin Richards and Paula Hulley, the transformative role of transpersonal research, with a focus on the method of organic inquiry and the three steps of preparation, inspiration and integration. Deborah Bell’s creative practice acknowledges her quest for a spiritual truth, which has parallels to my own personal narrative in search of self and shadow. Memory, and recovery of memory, in Colin Richards’ art-making, is discussed as potential transformation and catharsis in the second half of life. Organic inquiry, a qualitative methodology to the transpersonal approach, is examined and applied to my experience of going inward to self through painting and mixed media.


Master of Art in Fine Art. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2016.