I have chosen to use my most recent works in this post because I feel it has been the way in which I have pushed forward with my whole idea. It may seem like a jump from my previous work but the meaning behind it hasn’t changed.
I have been exploring the back of the body with the concept that it is portraying the identity of that person. Following the shoe box gallery, I thought it would be interesting to create pieces of work that can explore the ideas within identity and consciousness along with the importance of the back.
I started with creating a box/briefcase style of work that incorporates what I feel is me.
Of course, I have included my own back in this piece as the first thing the viewer sees. It is surrounded by this dark red colour- if I were to pick a colour most connected to myself it would definitely be this. Its not bright and in your face, but it is still a powerful colour. The main section of the box is where the story of the work really takes place. I have included small text from a section of my own personal journal- this text is basically about how I think about the mind and questioning myself and why we act the way we do.
The lotus flower in the corner is raised higher than the other pieces of this box. The lotus flower symbolises a rebirth and the path to enlightenment. The lotus flower is a symbol of following Buddhism, and adopting a happier lifestyle. I have included this because it has made a huge impact, I feel, on my life. I am now able to be more conscious of how I want to live and how to react to things around me.
The snow globe is central of my box because this is such an important ‘object’ in my life. I have a huge collection of these since being a child; wherever I am, if I have a snow globe with me, I’ll feel at home. My parents divorced at quite a pivotal time of my growing up and this resulted in moving house a lot and changing myself and my environment regularly- the snow globe was there to keep me grounded and remember the good and who I am. As well as the personal relation to me, snow globes are fun and beautiful to look at and to shake up- I’m hoping the audience will see this and feel like they can pick it up and give it a shake and enjoy it.
The sewn text also in the central line of the box is another very important message. I have written it in Arabic for two reasons: it is a beautiful looking language and is how it is written on my skin, and I didn’t want it to be so easy to understand and then to be forgotten. The text says ‘You cannot change what you are, only what you do”. A slight link to the back- you cannot change what your back looks like or what it shows about you, but you can hold yourself with more integrity and consciousness.
The left hand side contains 3 small glass jars- one contains the tablets that have helped me be the person I am without letting anxiety take control too much, the other contains a smell that I and others around me associate with myself, and the last contains my own finger print and small amount of my hair as the scientific form of my identity.
The second box I have made to go alongside is another very personal exploration into my own identity. However, this box links to issues I have related to Aspergers and my hearing/touch. I have always had issues related to people, touch, hearing where they are over-sensitive and cause anxiety. Throughout my project, I have had difficulties with the bones showing on the back and the poses I put myself in. I also noticed that I struggled with the sound of my paint brushes. Although I am aware of the things that cause this uncomfortable feeling, I found it to effect the work I wanted to create because I would avoid doing it. I realised that these are important to who I am and felt the need to create a box with these in. I also wanted to push myself as an artist and a person; the process of making this box was very difficult.