- EXAMPLE STUDENT’S EXPLORATION PROPOSAL
The beauty of imperfection ‘I see that there will be no end to imperfection, or to doing things the wrong way. Even if you grow up no matter how hard you scrub, there will always be some other stain, or spot, somebody frowning.’ from Margaret Atwood’s Cats Eye.
This quote has stayed with me long after finishing Margaret Atwood’s novel, Cats Eye, as I believe it exposes the common struggle humans experience between unrelenting forces of perfectionism and the ‘unwanted’ forces of imperfection. I have been a perfectionist ever since I was a child, placing extreme pressure on myself to succeed based on unrealistic expectations and standards I placed on myself. Atwood’s words, however, finally broke the
vicious cycle I have been otherwise trapped in. The reality dawned on me that satisfaction and beauty never comes as anything less than perfection, the only beauty in life is when one is able to finally step back and embrace their imperfections.
This year I am passionate about celebrating imperfection through my artwork, encouraging the acceptance of nature and of people by revealing the beauty of what is organic. Beauty has become restricted to what is considered to fit ‘within’ the frame in society, the idealistic notion of beauty that dictates slowing down the ageing process and covering up wrinkled skin, masking the spiritual beauty that lies dormant within. I want to try and extend that frame, uncovering and exposing the unconscious beauty of faults and defects, moving away from the mass media’s projection of beauty which is unrealistic and towards an imperfect aesthetic world. I will explore imperfection in nature and in people, eradicating the barriers that prevent us from seeing and appreciating true beauty. By using rough and simplistic style, I will investigate the natural aesthetic surfaces of people and their outward projection of emotion through capturing the facial expressions which are usually kept concealed from the physical appearance. Humans disassociate themselves with their emotional experiences such as anger or depression; however, I would like to capture the beauty of anger which is normally perceived as a frightening and ‘imperfect’ emotion.
In Units 1 and 2, I explored different media and materials to create textural qualities, this year I would like to take that further by embedding images of emotional faces to portray different emotional aspects and feelings from within. I would therefore like to juxtapose the physical textures that I create with images that are transferred onto canvas or board using turpentine, by rubbing over the back of a photograph. I am interested in the naturalprocess of disintegration as it is only natural that everything eventually falls to pieces. The elderly are beyond chasing perfection and exude a natural self acceptance which I believe personifies imperfect beauty. I would like to investigate the texture of wrinkled skin through the use of different materials, distorting fabric and tissue paper from its natural flow of being flat; scrunching it up and gluing it down so that it gives a wrinkled effect.
I would like to explore the encaustic method as by layering I might achieve different surfaces and tensions of imperfection in society. By incorporating wax with different pigments and manipulating the wax I will create a variety of surfaces, textures and visual effect that I hope will create depth within the composition. This relates to the fact that beauty is not only skin deep opposing artists who simply replicate what lies before them in an idealistic way.
I have been inspired by Robert Rauschenberg. His innovative style embraced the juxtaposition between painting, collage and sculpture. The artist combined a range of mediums as his paintings evolved from traditional oil paint brushed onto a canvas to include collages of transferred images and mixed media. I would also like to explore a broad range of materials such as paper, glass enamel, fabrics, gold pigment and images taken from pictures books and my own photographs. I intend to fuse all different textured elements together to try and convey the beauty of imperfection. I would like to imitate his abstract style, in order to reflect imperfect aesthetic qualities. Rauschenberg’s ‘Red painting’ involves an exploration of the different layers and effects of one monochromatic colour. I would like to explore the tonal variation of certain colours in order to convey the intensity of flawed emotion. I would like to prove that a single colour, such as black or grey can look very colorful when isolated by itself.
Rauschenberg’s spontaneous painting has a certain order to it, he has created unity through colour and balance. I intend to apply materials and paint loosely and boldly, to concentrate on achieving a balanced composition that can prove that imperfection and chaos can be beautiful and ordered. I want to emulate the artist’s intense use of layering and the different aesthetic textures and surfaces he creates.