jo fairfax gives shape to carl jung’s 12 archetypes


In his latest project, artist Jo Fairfax crafts sculptural interpretations of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s 12 archetypes. The figurines, primarily white with delicate touches of color, are the result of a fusion of 3D printing technology and traditional craftsmanship. Fairfax employs bio-sourceable cornstarch for printed components, seamlessly integrating them with manual techniques such as handcrafting, putty application, intricate painting, bespoke decal placement, and finishes with varnish and wax. The sculptures are shown as part of the Collect Open exhibition at Somerset House, London, on view from February 2 to March 3, 2024.

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Rebel – inspired by Jung’s idea of archetypes – a shared subconscious | all images courtesy of Jo Fairfax 



exploring personal and shared traits through sculpture


Jo Fairfax (find more here) focused his series on Carl Jung’s concept of the collective subconscious, embodying the archetypal traits of the Hero, Magician, Innocent, Lover, Caregiver, Orphan, Rebel, Ruler, Explorer, Creator, Sage, and Jester. Through the 3D sculptures, the artist prompts contemplation on our personal archetype compositions and shared traits with others. ‘The principle of shared characteristics gently suggests an interconnectedness between us all,’ shares Fairfax. ‘This is a very good time to contribute to the idea of commonality rather than separation.’


In crafting this series, Fairfax immersed himself in Jung’s archetypes, permitting his subconscious to guide the creative journey. The culmination involved a meticulous analysis of the artwork as an experiential object. The outcome manifests in a diverse array of white sculptures, characterized by delicate linear and curved elements, subtle bursts of color, and intricate geometric details. Fairfax skillfully imparts qualities into form, giving rise to a collection of minimalist sculptures imbued with a deeper meaning. 

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Lover – the lights are on the lover and chutzpah is required 

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Sage – the quark equation is seen within the center of the sage – the fine filaments lean towards the sage like electrical charges

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Creator – this figure is inspired by orreries and the idea of creation

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Jester – the circles around the head and body are meant to imply movement and juggling – the extended wheel axils activate the space under the circular movement

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Innocent – ‘I wanted to create an angelic sense of innocence, purity and openness,’ explains the artist

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Caregiver – the caregiver has bowls of sustenance to give to the world – the surface of the plinth is like ripples overlapping

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Explorer – part walker, part diver the Explorer has decals on its body that are taken from Ordnance survey maps pathway symbols

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Orphan – this is the smallest figurine yet perhaps the most energetic – ‘I wanted to create a very positive energy, says Fairfax

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Ruler – this character towers above its community – the delicate cloak implies a wider influence

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Hero – the piece inspired by the Nordic Trundholm sun chariot. – this Hero implies a gentle, serene movement through a magical landscape

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Magician – standing on a plinth with a distorted lined surface as if the magician is capable of changing time



project info:


name: 12 Jungian archetypes
designer: Jo Fairfax



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom