My body of work explores my experience and feelings of solitude with both landscapes and cityscapes. Photography remained a key medium through all of my pieces, either as a base or as features. Most of my pieces were representations of photos taken while traveling by family members or myself. Many of the pieces present in the exhibition are connected to my own identity. From the representations of the places I have lived that have changed my view of the world and its cultures, to the feelings and emotions that have impacted my life greatly, I depicted the relation to oneself with the vastness of an environment, or how one can be surrounded by life and still feel isolated.
While the overall theme of my work is solitude and giving a material form to an emotion, one set of my work focuses on cityscapes and man-made infrastructures. I was greatly inspired by realist painter Edward Hopper when making my piece Hollow, which portrays solitude through the cut out of my silhouette enveloped by photographs taken the last three years while traveling. For my most ambitious piece, New York Nostalgia, I worked with 2 point perspective so the audience would feel as if looking at the city from the roof of another building. This piece was a reminiscence of my time spent in New York and how even while being at the heart of the city, between skyscrapers, someone can feel isolated and alone. I went outside of my comfort zone for this piece and worked with materials and processes which were new to me, such as sand.
For my second set of work, I have tested and experimented with many techniques ranging from sculpting clay, to collage and painting on different surfaces using forks, pallet knives and even straw. The painting Hakone is especially representative of these techniques as I used materials such as straw along with processes such as sgraffito, impasto and wet on wet.
This piece is a continuation of previous similar pieces but what makes it different is the incorporation of the Japanese “torii” which adds to the feeling of loneliness and anonymity to the painting. The greatest influence for this set of work is German neo expressionist painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer.
My work is exhibited on a linear wall, divided in three sections naturally by columns. I was able to use the height of the wall and align paintings vertically to create another but more elongated triptych. I then divided the sections by color, with monochrome sepia and brown artworks on one side and colorful paintings on the other. Because I was placed by the entrance, the horizontal lines of the triptychs lead the audience through my body of work. My largest piece, New York Nostalgia can be seen from an open area of the exhibition, to better view the entire product and also has an impact from a distance. The space allowed me to keep every piece in its own space, thus the display of my exhibition leads the viewer through each piece and section until the end.
Thus, my aim for this exhibit is to show how the use of anonymous atmospheres and silhouettes can emphasize and underline the sentiment of solitude that can be felt in the city and nature, and I hope that the viewer can understand the emotion of aloneness in my work. The audience can observe my pieces from multiple angles and distances, thus allowing them to either feel like being inside the piece or an outsider looking in. Everyone feels solitude and loneliness differently, but my goal was to find a way to portray how my experience with it felt. I also wished to depict the places that influenced my upbringing and whose landscapes influenced the backgrounds for my artworks.
New York Nostalgia (December 2021)
Wood, cardboard, paper
300 x 40 cm each
New York Nostalgia was inspired by the city I grew up in and influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs of Manhattan. The idea of a triptyque was a way to elongate the piece and let the viewer imagine what belongs in between each panel. Charles Sheeler’s painting Canyons, was another inspiration for the backdrop as I worked on 2 point perspective. Because of the various textures, the perspective is almost lost. This piece was the most ambitious and time consuming in body of work.
Street signs and Graffiti (December 2020)
Acrylic paint on canvas
I named this painting Street signs and Graffiti because it represents the contrast between street art and practical art. Street art is illegal and can be found anywhere and in any form, however practical art such as signs like TABAC are all made the same and have one purpose: to advertise the location of a tobacco store. I wanted to represent both the iconic red and white sign as well as street art. Robert Cottingham’s work inspired me to use vibrant colors and try different fonts and writings.
Waves (November 2020)
Ceramic, oxides, glaze
I named this piece Waves because I was inspired by ocean waves and Jean Arp’s work. I liked that waves were infinite and never ending and the smoothness of Jean Arp’s sculptures. I wished to show the world under the Seine after showing the riverbanks in my previous pieces. Building my sculpture I tried to make it sleek like Arp’s work. I used the scoring and sticking technique to stick the slabs together. Working with clay made the process time sensitive and therefore more of a challenge.