Rorschach, alchemy and silhouettes.

‘The Rorschach is a performance-based test of personality functioning based on interpreting a person’s responses to 10 bilaterally symmetrical inkblots. The overall goal of the technique is to assess the structure of personality, with particular emphasis on how individuals construct their experience and the meanings assigned to their perceptual experiences.

The interpretations on Rorschach data can provide information on variables such as motivations, response tendencies, cognitive operations, affectivity, and personal and interpersonal perceptions.

Central assumption of the Rorschach is that stimuli from the environment are organized by a person’s specific needs, motives, and conflicts and by certain perceptual “sets.” This need for organization becomes more exaggerated, extensive, and conspicuous when subjects are confronted with ambiguous stimuli, such as inkblots. Thus, they must draw on their personal internal images, ideas, and relationships to create a response. This process requires that persons organize these perceptions as well as associate them with experiences and impressions.  The central thesis on which Rorschach interpretation is based is this: The process by which persons organize their responses to the Rorschach is representative of how they confront other ambiguous situations requiring organization and judgement. Once the responses have been made and recorded, they are scored according to three general categories: (a) the location, or the area of the inkblot on which they focused; (b) determinants, or specific properties of the blot they used in making their responses (color, shape, and so on); and ( c) the content, or general class of objects to which the responses belongs (human, architecture, anatomy, etc.)”

– Groth-Marnat, G. (2009). Handbook of Psychological Assessment. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Perhaps I can use the three categories that make up a Rorschach plate to create my own emblems that embody a mental disorder? A great piece of sketching software is Alchemy. It’s free and allows you to create shapes that inspire the ground work for finished work. It has some pretty genius ideas attached to it, so if your feeling you are just recycling the same shapes over and over (like me!) check it out. I intend to use it for silhouette design as well as exploring its potential as a Rorschach plate creator. I will attempt to mesh these two activities together to see if it communicates an intended mental disorder. For now I have just done a single silhouette and tried a few (mostly hideous) loose design ideas.

Also, a quick painting exploring mood and colour and composition.


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