The artworks I have created over this two-year course have stemmed from my personal thoughts, experiences and opinions. The premise of the exhibition these artworks have accumulated towards is the insinuation of controversy and shock. Deciding to incorporate socially disputed ideas such as alcohol, mental health and parental psychology has allowed me to communicate my personal opinions while simultaneously acknowledging the opinions many audiences may have. I hope that the body of work inspires deeper thought into the topic that could possibly instigate change or heightened awareness. Furthermore, through incorporating ideas and opinions that are quite personal to me, my vision is to establish a connection between artist and audience.
At the start of the course my interests guided me towards the medians and approaches I investigated during the first handful of projects. I recall being captivated by digital photography which was the median for my first project. While I did struggle with the technicalities and inevitably decided to explore other medians after this, the black and white photographs I had taken allowed me to gain insight into my personal taste and ideas of interest I would continue to explore in later projects. One concept I became instantly intrigued with was contrasts, in the first project it was the contrasts between human representation for mental health and non-human representation as well as the contrasts between colors. With my second project where, through the use of clay, I explored the contrast between the traditional use of masks and the modern use. This became an overarching theme throughout the rest of my course as when brainstorming future projects, I always aimed to clearly distinguish two concepts or ideas I could present as a physical or conceptual contrast. In my final few projects this theme led to my selection of decorative arts as my primary focus. Particularly surrounding installation pieces which I had become interested in through the works of artists such as Ai Weiwei and David Zink Yi. Aspiring to artists such as these, I aimed to center my artworks around the premise of intriguing audiences through the arrangement and deconstruction of physical objects. This was quite an abstract focus as my intention was to take objects considered to be “normal” and challenge schemas of audiences by making them appear irregular. One technique which surfaced with my project featuring vodka bottles with heavy layers of paint, was a technique I classify as “material wasting”. While this may sound negative it was a technique that led to the enhancement of many of my works. Before the discovery of this technique, I was quite shy with the range and number of materials I utilized, and I realized it was quite restricting. Only after stepping out of my comfort zone was, I able to take advantage of the resources around me to create works with less bounds.
The arrangement of my artworks was a focus when setting up my exhibition, I attempted allocate spaces for works that physically manifested or reflected the ideas behind them. For instance, works that feature a more personal idea are positioned in a more closed off environment, hence my construction of a small house. Furthermore, distance between pieces of a work reflects the relationship existing within them. I also attempted to feature how artworks were made which is shown through the motion of the canvas which hangs just on the edge of the board. I also thought about whether I wanted to have a work’s subject look down on the audience or have the audience look up, playing with the notions of superiority and inferiority. I hope to create an exhibition that will intrigue audiences by differing from normality. Art has always been a channel of self-expression as it sanctions the communication of ideas that would otherwise be difficult to assimilate through words or other medians. I appreciate that in the case of many of my artworks, audiences may first be confused by their appearances as they are quite abstract and abnormal. However, my goal is for audiences to branch a connection between what they see and what it reflects whether that be a personal interpretation or an interpretation on a label.