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  • Mark Brafield

Synchronicity at the Tate


There was a good example of what Jung called 'synchronicity' or meaningful coincidence in my consulting room this week.

I was working with a client who felt trapped between two relationships, one representing the past and one representing the future, and fearful of moving forwards.

Having explored this for some time, our conversation moved - 'by chance', obviously - to exhibitions currently showing in London. To our surprise we found that we had both been to the Bonnard exhibition at the Tate Modern during the last week. We both agreed that there were too many paintings, and that too many were actually not terribly good, weighed down by a dark, muddy palette. We both agreed, however, that there was a wonderful late flowering of Bonnard's talent revealed, in particular, in a luminous picture of an almond tree in full blossom.

When we thought about this further, we realised that the dark, muddy paintings corresponded with the artist likewise feeling trapped between two relationships, whilst the billowing vision of almond blossom had been released when circumstances had resolved the triangle.

Mere coincidence or meaningful synchronicity ? Make up your own mind.


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