This is my projected plan of study for the fall semester in 2013. It contains my thoughts on global issues and how they relate to my sculptural work. I have laid out my first project and where I plan on taking it over the next few months.
Projected Plan of Study–Fall 2013:
Is there a limit to the ways by which the human race can continually ignore and contribute to global issues for the sake of personal gain and egocentric pleasures? By conducting research on political issues, such as the emerging conflict in Syria, the continual Fukushima disaster, illegal whaling, deforestation of rainforests, global warming and global un-sustainability, I will be posing a question about human’s involvement in these problems and our willingness to avoid such topics for the reasons of, “there is nothing I can do about it,” and “this has nothing to do with me now.” Art is the purist form of protest; with this, I plan to call to attention, humanity’s collective ability to keep our eyes closed and our mouths shut. Through the use of ceramic material, such as low-fire white clay, and various found objects, I will be working on a three part series that will explore the act of ignorance and how these dilemmas impact people’s daily lives and possibly, what solutions are available.
The first sculpture of the series will show the figure of a nude woman seated on a wooden chair staring intently at a fungal growth in her palms. There is a rope tied to the leg of the chair, of which a creature is tied to the other end. The creature struggles against the weight of the figure, as it tries to pull the woman across the floor. The woman is oblivious to the creature’s plight, instead, focusing solely on the growth on her palms. For this project, I draw inspiration from Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, other known as “zombie ant fungus.” This fungus takes control of an ant’s brain, and forces it to attach itself to a plant leaf where the fungus is then able to consume the energy of the ant, germinate and release its spores, hence spreading itself to more vegetation. The fungi in the sculpture represents an opposing force, seemingly harmless, even inert, which in actuality, holds the power to control one’s thought and individual desires. It is a distraction that causes the individual to lose the ability or desire to make their own decisions thus causing them to be unaware of the detrimental consequences of the actions they take.
Both the figure and the creature will be full scale and will be constructed out of low-fired white clay, each having a different surface technique applied. The woman will remain stone-like, with scratches and marks made in the clay which will then be filled with dark paint, ink or glaze. The fungi growing on her will be cast paper and will be colored an un-natural shade of blue-green. The creature will receive a more natural appearance transitioning into the texture of coal or carbon.
The second and third projects will focus on how global issues affect people’s daily lives and what possible outcome or solution can be found. I will be following along the same guidelines as the first, but I will be placing the figure in a different situations. Both sculptures will be figurative and will use found objects as sources of dialogue between the figure and the viewer.
These three pieces will mimic the lives of the viewer in a way that is both abstract and relatable. By creating a connection between the global world and the local world, I attempt to engage the viewer in a dialogue that will open our eyes and verbalize our thoughts.