Charlotte Ray Janowski

I am a sculptor and video/performance artist. I create primal masks based on archetypes, myths, and folklore. These sculptures represent psychological states. I use the symbolic language of color to create metaphors for the emotional experiences people hold. I photograph, film, and create performances with dancers of all modalities. I explore the use of the masks as tools for processing trauma through physical movement. The masks allow people the anonymity to explore rejected parts of the self. A tabula rasa in service of newly created self narratives. This is a powerful way to heal frozen trauma in human consciousness.
Each new mask I witness shedding layers through performance and the emotions translated through creation of the physical sculpture. I use these physical works of art as beacons. They have drawn collaborators towards me with shared pain, without words ever being spoken. The fabric sculpture skin facilitates the experience of ego death and shapeshifting by causing the performer to forget the flesh self. This ritual object makes space for the innate energetic self to emerge. Currently my work is focusing on different autobiographical selves, neuroplasticity, traumagenic origins, neurofeedback loops, somato-emotional release, butoh, and spiritual kintsugi ("to repair with gold").

My works are clairvoyant explorations. Clairvoyant means,"clear vision", a type of seeing without eyes. The costumes and masks are spirit-suits. I use symbolic language of myth to articulate the emotional experiences. I desire to help people understand psychic language. Form studies are collected from visual research of world folk and tribal cultures, especially cultures involving channeling and spirit possession. My heritage is slavic, therefore my work seems to mimic Ukrainian festival headpieces, however unintentionally. I deeply resonate with the object making of the Tyva region, between southern Siberia and Mongolia. It is one of the most shamanic regions in the world. I work from hypnogogic, lucid dream, and trance states.