Ken Balmer – “Balance”: an exhibition of paintings

September 1 – 25,  2021

Sponsor:  Bancroft Eye Care

What is more basic than gender? 

We come into the world assigned – male or female. Our first room, our clothes, our toys all scream blue or pink.  The social illusion of what this all means is constructed and reinforced by parents, siblings, friends, teachers and ever-present marketing messages.  Most of us grow comfortably into these two clearly defined spaces; others feel a dissonance.

Jung tells us that we all have both the masculine and feminine in our psyche. Expanding, he notes that in later life we are all called to integrate the opposite energy into our being and behaviour.  A man must inevitably meet and embrace his anima (female energy).  A woman develops her animus (male energy).

 Many, however, are most comfortable living and expressing a balanced form throughout most of their self-directed life: adopting androgynous fashions and behaviours. Meanwhile we all live in a world that subconsciously seeks and values integrated male and female energies; and is simultaneously uncomfortable being around and accommodating those who live somewhere along, rather than at the ends of the gender spectrum. 

This art has given me the opportunity to reflect on gender balance, options and challenges.

 

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