The Art of Jem Ham

The April Fool - a self portrait


Acrylic on canvas

101.6 x 101.6 x 3.2 cm

40 x 40 x 1.25 in

 “I ran and ran to escape the dawn, but when confronted by the morning sun, I hid, behind my facade, trying to fool the world. But in the end, I lost out. I couldn’t show my real face. I was the April Fool.”

Aided by the process of Surrealist automatism, The April Fool delves into the subconscious realms in search of the self behind the portrait.  Through symbolic imagery and surreal aesthetics, it depicts the struggle to overcome the entangling bounds of the persona, as defined by Carl Jung, and navigate the world of the shadow self on the journey towards individuation. It explores the interaction between the ego and the unconscious and how the ego can experience a self that is subordinate to it.

‘The April Fool’ stands in the present moment with the trail of his past struggles behind him, represented as half buried balls in the game of life. Cradled in his trunk and symbolised by the yin yang, lies the end goal – the unification of consciousness and unconsciousness, an integrated psyche.

Exhibited at Buratti Gallery in Subiaco, Western Australia (2019); Canning Art Awards in Riverton, Western Australia (2019); City of Stirling Art Awards (2019). Held in private collection.


Westfield People’s Choice Award
City of Stirling Art Awards 2019

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