The constellation i chose at the beginning off term for my second year was Many Guises of the Absurd, this study group was mainly focused around the theories of the existentialists. It open my eyes to a rang of the human condition and how individuals battle with finding their place in the world. The idea of existentialism is to create a meaning in life, as some see life as just a repetitive struggle of self made tasks and once accomplished you set a new challenge that are even harder to maintain. Many explore what gratification is gained from this and weather it actually gives you a purpose in life. I think one of the main goals is to be apart of a collective and participate in the world around you, but for this to happen theorist suggest that both your facticity and transcendence must be a lined. facticity meaning the things such as your gender and age, but your transcendence is who you are as a person, and how you communicate and interact with your environment. If either one of these are off kilter, this is when a person discovers anxieties and with draw themselves from being active in society as they dont see purpose in their lives.
Although one example of how someone can combat this was by identifying the problem, in this case it was their transcendence as their mind set was that of a girl but had male body, by choosing to elect surgery to merge her transcendence and facticity, it allowed her to become an active part in society again. This is a rear case as many struggle with their transcendence not there facticity and both of these in balance create your own essence. This was something i explored in my essay and they way artist portray essence through portraiture, especially self portraits as i looked at artists such as Egon Schiele, where his style communicates more than just abstraction but the way he felt about himself. I was interested in weather it was possible to show your essence in portraiture as facticity was there but through his style i think he was able to show his battle with his personal transcendence. Therefore as these may have been unbalance perhaps essence was not quite there, but his painting definitely portray the making of this and show the internal emotion. He also applied this when painting many of his subjects as they were normally those close to him so he had a good insight into how they interacted with there environment, which in some ways is more helpful as he can paint them how he perceives them. As no one can know the inner struggles of someones mind but Egon still communicates his subjects essence efficiently through his strong brush strokes. But in a way i think all his painting capture his essence as he is actively applying the paint giving each piece a little bit of himself.
This study group has helped me understand more about the human condition and helped me to bring layers of understanding and perspective in my work, it also helped me communicate in a more emotive way. I’ve used this in some of my most recent editorial projects. One was about veterans playing poker and how they have become over looked as old men, and not the heroes who fought for their countries. I tried to communicate this through the medium of inks mainly using colour and compositions showing them as small figures to create the feeling of being obsolete within a crowd being towered over by the statue of liberty, representing what they fought for.
My other editorial was about how to achieve happiness, as we set out certain narratives that we think will make us happy instead of the day to day interaction. This was very closely linked to my constellation, as again it is about setting goals and reaching them, but even when we do this there is no guarantee for our happiness. I think this article was right to point out that the day to day involvement with the outside world and the people around us is much more important, as it is hard to be happy all the time but concentrating on the things that have a positive and negative affect on you in present and taking action can create happiness for the future. So i made an image that showed a man weighed down by his choices in life, by following the typical narrative of education getting married and being placed in a good job all of which sound perfectly fine for majority but this narrative should contain more individuality to gain your own personal happiness. I did this by continuing in ink and using there vivid colour contrasting against white paper creating a clean, bold image.
I am also linking my dissertation proposal to my field as the topic of Native Americans and tribal culture came from a personal link to my family, as my Nan has always been interested in their memorabilia and is one of the fond childhood memories looking at her decorative plates.I used this connection to bring a broader view on the the project of ‘home truths’ which was a ceramic/illustration based brief. This is when i started my research into the native american culture and became really interested how they were represented in american history, and also how they are still treated as a minority group today. So i created my own plates and wanted to portray a kind of continuum of how their culture is romanticised and used to help profit American society with out any authenticity. I painted loose vivid images of the typical subjects for example, Native on horse back, dancing by a fire and a collection a feathers, i then made these into decals which i transferred to my plates which i had sgraffito some of the awful indecents that had happened during colonisation. Therefore showing the truth in contrast of what one society wants you to see. Through doing this i realised i really enjoy the process and development of ceramics, and to have a finished product at the end is something that has pushed me in my work.