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Joanna Kambourian - Fear Catchers & Neon Talismans
22 January 2022 - 27 February 2022
Gallery 5

Contemporary talismans to dispel fear and inspire hope.
Ritual, reflection and repetition as acts of remembrance.

In a time when our sense of stability has been displaced, disrupted and disturbed this body of work reflects an attempt to make sense of the current world narrative overwhelmed by fear. Using patterns, symbols and techniques drawn from my Armenian ancestral cultural heritage, fear catchers and neon talismans speak of a longing to make a connection with something deeper, from a contemporary perspective.

In Armenia there are village healers who are revered and respected for their ability to draw and cast out fear from their patients. Using ancient divination practices, these healers play an important role in the mental health of their community. By pouring molten wax onto water the healers read the shapes the wax takes, giving them a sense of what their patient is struggling with and instructing the person in ritual, gives relief from their fears.

In ‘Fear Catchers & Neon Talismans’, this process of psychological alchemy is repeated in a contemporary way, through creative studio processes and techniques heavily reliant on ritual, reflection and repetition, and in the depiction of cultural talismans and symbols designed to ward off evil.

Through these processes, both personal and collective fears and anxieties are uncovered and brought to light to be dispelled and released. The process of contemplation, reflection and transmutation is contained in the essence of the works and their forms speak of a longing to recover a sense of connection to a broken cultural lineage.

 

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