I am a conceptual artist and a psychoanalyst. I use the ideas of Sigmund Freud and others such as Melanie Klein or Jacques Lacan in my art. The paintings are final crystallized abstract expressions of psychoanalytic concepts. They contain universal symbols that provide a visual language to simplify complex ideas. 

My paintings are the result of understanding theory, my associations and an engagement with the artwork as it evolved. Painting and the resulting paintings themselves are therefore the product of both my pre-conscious and conscious expression.

I think that making art is similar in some ways to the expression of feelings and ideas that occur between the therapist and patient. Here, in both worlds of therapy and art – words, symbol, tone of sound or color and metaphor intertwine on the actual canvas or in reference to the canvas of a therapeutic relationship. My art therefore is an engagement with the painting as it emerges on the canvas, in a similar manner to how the  relationship emerges between myself and my patient. My art is about relationship – a constellation of theory, the past and present and a third entity which is the unconscious aspects of relating.

You can read more about my published writings and see some of my paintings in my Artist Statement. 


  • Cape Town Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy- executive position
  • Cape Town Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Group
  • Association of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
  • South African Psychoanalysis Initiative
  • South African Psychoanalytic Confederation- executive position
  • South African Association of Social Workers in Private Practice- executive position
  • South African Association of Social Service Professionals
  • Provisional candidate for International Psychoanalysis Association
  • Art and Psychoanalysis group of International Psychoanalytic Association



I hope the art will evoke an in-breath or an unexpected feeling in the body.  And possibly an unthinking state to follow your own path of free-association to glimpse your own aesthetic longings and rejections. I hope you find a way to engage with these unusual thoughts and feelings in the same way that slips of tongue, dreams, fragments of memory can enrich your relationship with yourself.  That is my wish.

– Cathy Rogers

Download: Liminal_Cathy Rogers_Catalogue _ Press release _ Notes from the Artist

Download: British Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol 38, Issue 4, Nov 2022, pg 678 – 692 – Painting to Learn the Technique of Psychoanalysis






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 canvas, 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 from the International Psychoanalytic Association and the South African Psychoanalysis Initiative. She has an interest in art and its relationship to psychoanalysis and presented papers in Lisbon 2019 and Toronto  2021 International Psychoanalysis Student Organization  Conferences. She exhibited in 2007, 2017, 2020 and at Cape Town’s Zeitz MOCCA. Her article on Painting to Learn the Technique of Psychoanalysis, commended for the 2022 Rozsika Parker Prize, was published in November 2022 British Journal for Psychotherapy.

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