My final IB Visual Art exhibition took place on the 4th of September, 2017. I exhibited nine artworks, drawing inspiration from various sources and using a wide range of media to explore my ideas. Below is a piece-by-piece summary of the exhibition.
This series displays the social shift between previous generations and the current generation, opposing Jesus Christ to ‘Yeezus’ Kanye West. The viewer must digest the disparity and evaluate the change. The ‘flashing lights’ aim to lend urgency, behind the pixellated panels representing modernised stained-glass windows. The pieces were constructed with reference to images of both figures, but with attention to each pixel, inspired directly by Chinese-Australian artist Zhong Chen.
This work is an exploration into how contemporary technology is increasingly allowing humans to manipulate nature. The piece was inspired by the historically significant ‘Dolly the Sheep’, the first animal to be a clone. The idea was spawned after I saw a phone tower disguised as a fake palm tree in Hawaii. The piece also references absurd sculptural classics such as Dali’s lobster phone and the juxtaposition between natural and uncanny is intended to be similarly playful and surprising.
This work quite explicitly explores the modernisation of land. The piece intends to ask the viewer if they would sacrifice electric luxuries for the now-forsaken purity of the land. Architectural lines on acetate add a geometric sensibility and forlorn sense of removability atop the leafy layered scene depicted below. It is a direct scene from my suburb, which is littered by ‘stobie’ (power) poles and power lines. The work was inspired by Australian painter Robert Habel’s motif of stobie poles.
This work attempts to capture the invalidity of our security that is felt when discussing large ambitions with others. Ideas are only as good as their owner’s persistence. For the uninvested, often their ideas are dead before they start due to an unwillingness to work hard. Nevertheless, they talk it up endlessly. In this work, the skull motif is glorified through vibrant colours. A homage to Damien Hirst’s skull motif, this questions the future of our generation of hastened big-dreamers.
Once it is well after dark, on the roads, sometimes it is hard to imagine what other cars on the road are doing out that late. This piece was inspired visually by the title sequence to David Lynch’s 2001 film Mulholland Drive with a concept inspired by Frank Ocean’s 2016 song Nights. The visual chaos, created with slow shutter, time remapping and ‘datamoshing’, intends to convey the mystery and the eventual homogeny of this curiosity as one becomes accustomed to driving.
Impersonal, 2017. 3 of ⌀12.5x8cm. Photoshop, paper, tape, mirror.
A comment on personalities and how the Internet has allowed us to reflect personalities not our own. The mirror intends to make the viewer reflect on their own inauthenticity. The three heads, in the contrasting primary colours, represent different states. As the imagery is in raster lines and not a faithful reproduction, it is a metaphor for our personalities changing when digitised. Their ring-like arrangements convey how our personalities can be easily stolen and sold once we put them online.
This too shall pass
The gloss black impasto mass, contrasting with the flat white, aim to convey the oppressing impacts of depressive thoughts. Despite the ominous starkness of the black, the work is dominated by white, faced by the protruding head, which symbolises the hope following despair. This piece was directly inspired by Canadian duo Majid Jordan’s song U, which I made a dramatic animated counterpart to, using imagery from this work.
First friends, 2017. 80x180cm. Modelling compound, acrylic, medium, LED strip light, projector, five Adobe Illustrator cartoon eye designs, Quartz digital program for viewer interaction via webcam.
This interactive installation invites viewers to reflect on their childhood influences, through directly juxtaposing cartoon eyes onto their face, via a seemingly magical ‘mirror’. The avant-garde light rope serves to invoke thoughts of a twisted incarnation of a ‘Hollywood’ mirror. The work references the mirror in the 2005 music video for Daft Punk’s Prime Time of your Life, in which a young girl pressures herself to look like Britney Spears.
This work is a conceptual series that attempts to represent the five human senses all through visual abstraction. Reference points are anonymised through the removal of nuanced colour, and endless intersections and transitions. Found images relating to each sense were heavily processed with a collage technique I devised. The work was inspired by Irish poet Seamus Heaney’s mastery of synesthesia.
Special thanks to Mrs D, my art teacher and huge supporter.
Thank you very much to everyone who came along to the exhibition.
Hopefully I pass and won't have to do another one (just yet).
I'm very proud to add that this exhibition was awarded, in November, a Youth Vocational Award for 2017 by the Rotary Club of St Peters.