Mind Over Matter
2016, High School, Art
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Gardner, Sean. Dead porgy fish lie stuck in oil from the Deepwater Horizon gulf oil spill. Digital image. TheStar.com. N.p., 20 June 2010. Web. 2 June 2016.
Meagher, Jennifer. “Italian Painting of the Later Middle Ages.”Metmuseum.org. N.p., Sept. 2010. Web. 2 June 2016.
This piece displays a juxtaposition of two ocean environments embodied by a female form; one of the ocean encompassed by a golden halo and set against a pale green background, the other of a fish dripping with glistening black oil and set against stark whiteness. The division between the upper and lower half of the woman is intended to emphasize the division between how the ocean should be regarded and how it is actually treated; by including both in one image, I hoped to emphasize the tragedy of not only the effects of human activity and oil spills on wildlife, but also on our conception of the ocean as a whole. The title stems from the notion that mindfulness and careful thought must be utilized to create an environment like the one surrounded by the halo, one superlative to the environment below that is a result of society’s fixation on the industrial model and its misinterpretation of what matters. To create this, I utilized materials such as gold leafing in tribute to older, more religiously inclined art of the 14th century, in combination with acrylic paint and photo collage. This piece represents the ocean beyond a mere ecosystem or habitat, and elevates it to almost divine proportions similar to how halos in 14th century art are indicative of divinity; in many ways, this is an accurate representation of the place the ocean holds in all our lives and its potential to determine the fate of humanity.