Visions of Self is an annual show of work from female artists across the world. It’s hosted by the Women’s Voices, Women’s Vision group of Yosemite Sierra Artists. In our second year, we’re featuring over 100 artists from 14 countries, with work including the subjects of self-portraiture, environment, emotions, and state of being.

The Self

Sophia Maxim
Atlanta, GA United States
Pen and Ink

This piece symbolizes the synthesis of various aspects of the self as a depiction of self-perception. It examines the concept of the self through ancient Egyptian iconology, Carl Jung’s model of the psyche, and existentialist themes. The woman represents the body, or the physical form. The snake is a symbol called the ouroboros which means “one who eats oneself.” In this piece, it represents the ego, or self-destruction. The iris and pupil represent the perceiver. The hand above represents God/the divine, the higher self, or the spirit.

The subject began to question her identity. She felt trapped by the snake and controlled by the hand. While seeking an answer to the question “Who am I?” she finally understands that the self is not any one feature of the whole, nor is it the sum of its parts. It is the relationship between those versions of identity which defines the human experience.