This course was very enlightening for me. I believe that I really began learning how to see. It has also encouraged me to pursue and minor in studio art, believe it or not. I have always liked learning new ways of thinking and being. This class taught me how to be objective in looking at everything, seeing the true make up of what I’m looking at– even my very own face! In doing this, it is easier to glance around and take in the beauty around me. The world is a lovely place.
This project was very challenging, but very fulfilling. We first covered a large archive material paper completely with charcoal. After this, we erased our faces into the charcoal starting with our noses and moving outward with kneaded eraser. Overall, this project took be about 22 hours and helped me learn to rethink something I already thought I knew well– my own face. It was also really interesting hearing everyone else’s take on the project, the problems they faced, and seeing our finished products during the critique. This was definitely my favorite project of the semester!
Sheila Pree Bright’s work was very moving and thought-provoking. Her take on Black America and her Plastic Bodies project especially really got to me. Her work definitely does an amazing job of shedding light on racism in America as well as how privilege affects minorities in the US. I especially loved hearing about how she got into photography and her story of her first photo shoot in the helicopter. Sheila Pree Bright is a very inspiring artist and I will definitely be following her amazing work from now on.
The HealiUm is a tiny art gallery/workshop off Ponce in Candler Park that hosts many community art events and the like. Their website states that, “We are a progressive-minded healing & arts forum whose mission is to provide a sanctuary to uplift people using the power of the creative arts as a healing tool.” I visited during one of their art showings. There was live music and a ton of interesting people enjoying the art and atmosphere. There were all kinds of pieces that used different media, and represented a huge range of different topics including politics, social issues, personal events, etc. I really enjoyed the show.
This project was the most difficult for me out of what we’ve done in this class so far. As a very visually literal person, going from a single word to an abstract shape was wildly exhausting for me. This came as a surprise– I thought that being a visual learner would make it easier for me to think in the way that this project required of us. However, in doing this project I learned about myself that my visual thought process is more of a one way street, which is actually a useful tidbit to know (woo!). All in all, this project made me think outside of the box.
The synonyms flow chart that I did at the beginning of the process was the least difficult for me. Once I had a few words jotted down, more related words cascaded from my head. The THUMBNAILS, though– this part actually drove me crazy because it was so much more tedious than I’d ever thought it could possibly be. I decided to go as simply as possible with my words, taking on as literal a visual interpretation as I could. I focused on the light/dark aspect of the word enlightened, and the randomness and disorientation that goes along with the word confused. All in all, I really like the way they turned out and think that they do a good job of representing the words.
The photography aspect of this project came naturally for me because of my one-way visual thought process that I mentioned earlier. I didn’t have to leave my room (read: I did not have to put pants on at all.). I managed to find great visual representations of the words and my black & white representations. I was happy to find that my pictures could stand alone, but also were good mirrors of my drawings that did not detract from them. I used the peephole on my door for enlightened and tangled string for confusion. The way these objects relate to the words are fairly self-explanatory, which is exactly what I was going for. I was also very pleased with the way the colors added to the project rather than overwhelming it.
Overall, would I want to do this project again? No. Am I glad I had to do this project? Yes.
As far as other people’s animals in class go, Xinyao’s tortoise/eagle hybrid impressed me the most. The obvious meticulous care that she put into constructing it was amazing. Her use of Chinese and American folklore was awesome, and is representative of how the two cultures must affect her as a person, having moved to the U.S. for college. Her honoring her grandfather in her animal’s superpower of healing and giving hope to those who are sick was also incredibly admirable. I was so impressed.
When I first began trying to figure out which problem to approach for this project, I was (more than) slightly overwhelmed. There are so many problems out there! With this in mind, I decided to approach a rather every day problem that constantly grates on my nerves– when drivers do not use their turn signals on the road. With further research, I found out that this actually causes upwards of two million roadway accidents per year. http://business.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/01/11486051-turn-signal-neglect-a-real-danger-study-shows
Now that I had my problem, I decided to start with an common, innocuous animal. What better choice than a squirrel? I decided to make it a hybrid with an electric eel (for electric powers purposes) and thus the scirius electricus, or electric squirrel, was born.
In action, the electric squirrel resides on trees and powerlines in wait of unwary drivers who forget to turn on their blinkers. When the electric squirrel spots his quarry, he uses his tail to zap the car, turning on its blinker and alerting the driver of his/her mistake by zapping the door ajar sound on as well. Thus, the squirrel delivers constructive criticism to drivers everywhere, promoting road safety.
As far as what I learned from this project– I definitely learned that a lot of times it is much easier to just go with the flow of creativity rather than plan out every tiny detail of a project. It was hard to plan out much of this 3D creature because of the random nature of the building materials we used. Even though it stressed me out to not really have a plan, my creature turned out way better than I thought it would. I also loved seeing everyone else’s creatures and how they approached the project.