Agata Mayes explores human existence by studying the mind, exploring the subject of ego and understanding what makes us who we are. She believes that the mind is our heart and the location of our true existence.
As a Polish-born child, daughter of 2 mathematicians Mayes experienced a very happy but structured childhood. The analytical approach to life and Catholic upbringing resulted in a denial of what was scientifically unexplained or unaccepted by the church. Emotions, dreams, and flash images she couldn’t comprehend at that time she buried under the surface of her subconscious. Mayes says she can still remember the dreams she had when she was a little girl and they did not represent her childhood experience. The memories she recalls were rich in a symbolic content which she could not understand and abandoned at that time.
Only as an adult, far away from her place of origin, Mayes started to process the experiences and emotions that accompanied her through her whole life. In one of her self portraits titled “Ego”, Mayes portrays herself in the light of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, illustrating interaction among three component parts of her mind: the Id, Ego and Superego. The lens in this image is a representation of the alternative way of expression. This was the exact moment in her career that she decided to continue with her psychological and philosophical journey and conceptually express her thoughts though the medium of photography.
Her first series, “Inside The Mind” was created to explore in depth the sensation of unexplained, severe fear. The aim of this work was to return to deeply repressed emotions and past experiences. It was an opportunity for the viewer to revisit “the inside”, reconnect with what is “real” and abandon the idea of “wrong” which might lead into a personal interpretation.
In 2016 Mayes followed the psychological theme by creating her second series called “Sleeping Humanity”. As she quotes Simon P. Collins: “Humankind is hypnotised into a form of psychic sleep. The sleep is so deep most people are completely unaware”. In this body of work Mayes questions our ability to fully experience our life and calls us to wake up from our hypnotic state.
Mayes plans to continue her photographic journey and express her unique point of view through her art. She is currently working on a new series called “Rockabye Baby” which will explore the state of sleep as a channel to our subconscious mind.
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