Childhood wishes and desires from infancy are echoed in adulthood. These childhood moments are sensory memories which can be noted in attraction to smells, certain music, textures and body parts like a breast or chest.  Such longings are explored in psychoanalysis and portrayed in these artworks. They start with infantile longings for milk, food and attention and are the roots of both metaphorical thinking and infantile feelings like envy.


Glyphs are readable typographic symbols originating from hieroglyphics.  Unlike the glyphs of ancient times, these allude to the writings of our sages of psychoanalysis like Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein. 

These paintings are notes of these writings and express the essence of complex psychoanalytic concepts.

The Setting

The psychoanalyst’s room is comfortable, quiet and private. These paintings transform this setting into what it becomes for the patient – a stage for remembering and acting out what is forgotten or repressed.  

On the canvass, the negative shapes created in the spaces between written words or in the gaps of paint, evoke what silence can feel like when the conversation pauses, stops or is with-held. 


This series of artworks explore how painting freely can be likened to speaking freely as in the psychoanalytic technique of free association. Uncensored speech and painting can both access the preconscious.


Psychic Depths

This series is an exploration of the depths of the artist’s psyche and uses thick paint, often scraped away and replaced by words which are  written into the canvas. They examine the depths of feelings like despair, breakdown and fear.

Cathy Rogers is a psychoanalyst registered with the International Psychoanalytic Association and the South African Psychoanalysis Initiative. She presented her art and its relationship to psychoanalysis in Lisbon at the 2019 and Toronto  2021 International Psychoanalysis Student Organization  Conferences. She exhibited her art in 2007, 2017 and at Home is Where the Art is, in Cape Town’s Zeitz MOCCA Museum in 2020. Her article on Painting to Learn the Technique of Psychoanalysis was commended for the 2022 Rozsika Parker Prize and for publication by the British Journal for Psychotherapy.

To contact Cathy Rogers for further information or to view more of her art, click here