For three of my artist’s descriptions I’ll be talking about three of the pieces I did in this class. This past year has been the hardest of my life and most of my art this semester has been a reflection of those feelings. I started my freshman year in college last year, mostly because I had been out of school for a few years and my dad kept asking me to go. My dad and I didn’t always get along but we had a respect and love for each other and he was one of my best friends. Two month into my first semester my dad lost his 5 ½ year battle to cancer. I was only 22, his passing was devastating, still is, and if my dad hadn’t been so proud of me for going back to college I would have given up and dropped out. Instead I worked my ass off that school year and made the deans list at Normandale Community College. Since my dad’s death I feel my life has been an uphill climb. Life is a lot harder without him and I’ve proved to myself how strong, and weak, I really am. I don’t mean to sound narcissistic but I haven’t gotten a chance to express myself like this and this level of vulnerability with others in explaining my art is healing I think in a way.
My first piece was the cardboard head with spikes. This piece will remain untitled but it has a feeling of annoyance and is supposed to capture a sense of overcoming. The cardboard piece has symbols of feminism and overcoming obstacles. The sharp pieces of cardboard are to represent the negative things in my life and how I’m trying to overcome them. The sharp ones inside my brain represent the hardships of losing my father last year and how his death is constantly on my mind. My dad’s partner has never liked me and now that my dad is gone I’ve had to take care of myself financially. The triangle between the legs is a representation of a vagina and the discovery of my self worth as a woman. I have been struggling with the way people who know about my dad’s passing look at me, it’s as if they don’t see me for who I am they just see what happened. So the cardboard face is unrecognizable and everything around and inside of it is meant to distract from my face.
The second work is “Myself in Three Parts”. This is my metal sculpture. “Myself in Three Parts” represents my body (what you see), my face (who you think I am), and my mind (who I really am). Although the jagged sharp pieces still represent the hurt in my life they are smaller and less overpowering. With the lights on it gives the piece a sense of wonder and evokes curiosity. The lights make you want to look inside and you wonder what’s in there. There is more to me than my circumstances and as humans we judge to quickly based on outward appearances. But each one of us has experienced pain, we have all cried and we are who we are today because of our choices during those difficult times. That is really what this piece represents.
My third piece will not remain untitled I just haven’t thought of a fitting title yet. The intention of this work was to capture playfulness, peace, and magic. I created this, like many of my pieces, in one night. Its skeleton is made of wood and then I wrapped the whole thing in strips of a canvas type material, the drapes were strips of material cut from an old skirt. The base was constructed out of welded metal rods. The balls of light were made from hemp wrapped around balloons with glue. I stuffed the hemp with bits of white material to hide the tea lights. Later on I added the little misfits, trees and other accessories turning the box into a stage. The misfits were hand sewn for the most part and had glass bead and artificial denture teeth for the eyes and mouths. They were meant to look slightly repulsive yet very cute and lovable. The piece was a way for me to reconnect with my playful side and was and artistic freeing of my emotions. After I finished with the stage I sat looking at in the dark for awhile because it filled me peace.
For me creating is a way to slowly letting go of something that is bothering me, it’s a means of self discovery, and has helped a lot in my healing process this past year. Everyone needs an outlet and my creativity has been mine. If it wasn’t for my dad encouraging me to go back to school I would have given up that first semester when he passed. It’s because of him I’m still in school and in a way school is helping me live past this difficult time. Thank you for reading.