How the artist’s work expressed the feeling of being silenced, by Zoe Pilger
In 1973, Paula Rego began seeing a Jungian analyst. She was creatively blocked and financially broke, floundering in London after a move from her native Portugal. She was making pop art, fashionable at the time, which wasn’t working. The therapy awakened a need in her to go to the source, where the images come from. In Jungian terms, the source is mystical – it is the sacred, silent centre, the wellspring of archetypal ideas, which form the collective unconscious. Rego began researching Portuguese fairy tales in the British Museum, the stories of karmic justice which would inspire the work that made her great.
Her greatness is shown in abundance at ‘Obedience and Defiance’, a retrospective at Milton Keynes Gallery. While she is known for her later scenes of feminine care gone sour, here too the political daring of her early works is shown.
Image: Paula Rego, Salazar Vomiting The Homeland, 1960
Oil on canvas, 94 x 120 cm
© Paula Rego