What Lies Behind (2017)
As an intelligent species, we create memories through our existence. As we move forward our mind flicks back to memories linked within the landscape or with the object. What lies behind us, helps us interpret our new experiences and create our identity.
Jazzy Houston & Alicia Mc Carthy
Pupae is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation, which relates to the way we transform as people. Over time we learn to grow and escape the enclosure.
Compromise (Series) looks to comment on the state of privacy and security in the digital age. Through each of the four works, the excessive data collection and fragile security of the digital world are exposed to viewers – revealing just how much many unwittingly share both online and with various ‘secure’ companies. Identity Key and About focus on data collection by Google and Facebook respectively – these works aim to expose the myth of digital privacy, as all the information they share on the internet is seen by countless others who may have malicious intentions. Identities Compromised and Compromise[d] instead focus on the instability of internet security; highlighting that a user can never truly be safe sharing data on the internet, as a result of hackers beating the security of many large corporations so as to steal user data and their identities. This is seen best in the ‘shattering’ of the pixelated profile pictures shown in Compromise[d].
Cartridge Paper, Ink and Pen.
The artwork, titled ‘A Thought’ is a series of comic strips (11 strips) each with four frames. Each comic was annotated with text boxes on either side of them. The comic told the story of the unnamed protagonist, who we see drifts into an existential crisis. From this crisis, the character reflects on his own life and comes to understand his own meaning of life. The title comes about because of the reoccurring use of the words “the thought” for example, “the thought haunts you… the thought consumes you.” Part of the work emphasises the notion that a crisis can occur because of something very small – in this case, a single thought – and can cause a certain butterfly effect. The making of this piece was done so with fine ink and watercolour on paper. Inspiration artists for this include Katie Parrish, who is an exhibition artist known for comic-style cartoon artworks. Not only this, but I wanted to incorporate a drawing method that I thoroughly enjoy. The style of this was developed in my visual diary as I developed a single character who was then made the main subject of my art. The overarching idea that I tried to convey was although we are very small in the universe and our lives are very short, ruminating on this idea that nothing matters and nothing will ever matter, while sadly true, will get us nowhere. We try so hard to find meaning in things that sometimes we look to broadly at ourselves. We zoom out on our own lives. We think about how small we are in our city, then how small our city is in comparison to the continent. Eventually, we expand so far that all we are able to see is a small dot (Earth) floating around an ever-expanding void. And this thought, while accurate, is the worst way to look at life. If, however, you zoom back in to your continent, to your city, and to your home, you find all these things that have meaning to you. You have your pets or your car or your husband or this new Xbox that you were so excited to get and you finally got it. Even little things like this can have so much meaning to someone, so why would you want to look at things any other way? If you have a choice to enjoy the things you love, how is it not better than the idea that nothing matters?
Lani Clem Esp-Morse
‘The Swarm Inside’
Photographic set-up and Photoshop editing (Nikon + extreme focus lens, two automated flashes varying strengths, dampener umbrellas, cardboard blockers, props, models)
The explicit meaning of my art is the way in which anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses infest lives, making everyday tasks heavy and seemingly confronting.
Main use of symbolism is represented through visualisation of anxiety and depression as bees. Use of bees swarming is confronting, displays imminent danger that creates shock, whilst also showing the overwhelming sense of mental health problems. Bees are an accurate visualisation as vicious, violent thoughts that are intrusive and eventually dangerous to a person’s mental health. The ‘swarm’ is a good metaphor for masses of intrusive thoughts as well as the pain they cause. All photos in the series also present implicit symbolism representing danger, overwhelming sensations, dramatization of events often caused by anxiety and the awkwardness of everyday life when carrying a mental burden. The photo series also follows the story of the development of the bees, from their origins going unnoticed by family and friends (#1), to becoming apparent during tasks such as musical performances, that were previously manageable and something enjoyed by the subject (#2). Left supressed or not confronted, the swarm make their way into every aspect of daily life including work or study (#3) until the subject is left overrun and powerless to the ‘swarm’ (#4).
Inspiration and irony used in my photos is the very highly influenced Vanitas or religious portrait style posing of subjects within the works. This use of explicit halo-style lighting creates the effect of a subject being the main focus of the works, whilst also taking a jab at religious and historical works for neglecting mental illness and the real human condition. The photos are very narrative in nature and provide an in-depth method of storytelling influenced by the likes of Gregory Crewdson or Juno Calypso.
“Beauty and Creation”
Acrylic on canvas
As an artist, I really want to make a difference in the world, whether big or small, a difference and a change is what I am aiming for. The perspective of work is from a caregiver, or a mothering figure perspective. From this role, I want to show and exploit my perspectives on conservation.
The meaning behind my artwork “Beauty and Creation” originally was to make people see the negative effects happening to the earth, those that cause death and destruction in nature. Looking at environmentalist and other artists work, I soon developed into a broader message. We cannot stop this destruction until we first gather an appreciation for it. This message being that we should all find nature as a place of beauty and peace, we need to stop harming the only place we should feel free to breath in and feel okay. Nature is a place of personal grounding and we as a civilisation, are destroying it.
I chose to focus on this theme because of its significance in my life now, things have been up and down, nature has been the one place where I could go to and stop, think, clam down and recharge myself. My idea is that by creating abstract pieces of art, depicting nature in my eyes that I can show the world just how beautiful it truly is. My art works a diptych, one side consisting of mainly blues and whites, the other mainly black and white with the hint of green. Its structures on the canvas are abstract with small details throughout the entire flow of the artwork.
My passion for nature and its survival inspires my works. The overall inspiration for my images are the sky, the ocean, the forests and the icy planes, I have gained inspiration from them and their strength as elements of the earth.
Mixed media on paper
Mixed media on paper
My artwork is all about capturing my time in adolescence.
Mutilating the womanly features of my body in an intertwining naturistic image whilst creating a background that ruminates on my vivid and colourful childhood, my artwork, Transitory, connects with both my younger self, and my feelings as a young woman in this weird and overwhelming transitionary period.
The otherworldly form of the figures body’s depicts a mutation that expresses how my own body’s changes have seemed to alienate my identity. With an abrupt abundance of femininity, I hoped to depict the idea that adolescence is a volatile existence. I tried to enhance the image with both the vivid colours reminiscent of my childhood. The abundance of insects and flora that flood over the imagery help encapsulate how overwhelmed and consumed I have felt whilst going through this time. Additionally, whilst completely overstated in colour, the images colour palette of magenta, dark purple and vivid orange has been incorporated to convey a feeling of aliveness, femininity and youth.
Derived through the profusion of nature, exploration of femininity and the use of vivid colour, my “self” portrait embodies my experience and emotion in this weird and peculiar period of time from girl to woman
"Flowers in Life"
Watercolour on unrushi paper
"Flowers in Life"
Watercolour on unrushi paper
My artwork, a series of three watercolour paintings, displays an abstract perception of passing time. The first artwork, is of the flowers full of colour and life. The second artwork is of a series of sticks deteriorating as they journey through life. The third artwork, depicts a weathered, lifeless branch with minimal leaves and explores the enduring nature of life over time. The three artworks together, depict the lifespan of a flower and the changes it goes through as it experiences the seasons and stages of its existence.
The artwork have a common denominator, being the experimental use of watercolour combined with specialist paper. The use of watercolours over tissue onto watercolour card was explored as I experimented with different media while developing my idea. As nature is ephemeral, I have opted to portray the notion of growth through this media so that it will last forever, and will not die with age as plants do. The manipulation of Mother Nature as a subject matter, and how it uncontrollably grows and flourishes, mimics my own history of artmaking. My art has never come from the first idea, but rather built upon over time.
Oil Pastel on pastel paper
Oil Pastel on pastel paper
To me, Reflection is like a Zentangle, where the repetitious act of drawing lines resulted in a serendipitous and joyful experience. Part action painting, part meticulous mind mastication, Reflection is hesitant and unsure, just like me. The art, the media, and the technique were all discoveries that will inspire future personal artworks.
Acrylic on canvas board
Acrylic on canvas board
When deciding whom I wished to paint, the choice was obvious.
My Nana has always been a strong influence in my life, even though I have only lived a small fraction of hers.
Through spending every school holidays with her growing up, she has played a major role in shaping me into the girl I am today and for that I am so grateful. Her infectious laugh, compassionate nature and kind heart are few of the many traits I admire about her. So for these reasons and many more I have chosen to depict her for my painting.
Oil on Canvas
The name of my body of work is, ‘Perceptive Awareness’. It represents the connection of the mind and heart, and how this process results in the perception of our own existence, thus creating awareness on how ones surrounding and interpretations alter the way one may perceive. The portrayal of two contrasting perception were created; a heart symbolizing a pessimistic and defeatist view on reality, accepting failure and expecting the worst, and the other signifying a positive, optimistic view, full of happiness and appreciation of life.
Acrylic on canvas
The work responds to the concept of ‘Existence’ with a focus on ‘Self’. Throughout the body of work I explored who I am as a person and as a creative. We are as unique as our thumb print and one of a kind. I have questioned how I am perceived by others and who I am in this world. This is me…
‘Structures’ is based upon the focus of human fragility and the concept that as humans, we exist solely due to our bodies. Without these structures we would cease to exist. This makes us so venerable and fragile to all other forces in our society and our culture. Our bodies are used to represents ourselves, and the internal structure becomes representative of personality. We are complex beings, with layers of structure.
Acrylic and collage on paper
In my teen life, knowing who I am as a person in terms of heritage and roots has been highly important. Coming from a background of Chinese-Indonesian heritage has provided a sense of confusion for me, as my true cultural identity is a little hazy. Seeing more diversity in the faces of people in my community has made me realize that there are so many more individuals like myself that share more than one ethnicity in their heritage.
Growing up I have experienced a lot of pressure to perform well academically. A future occupation as a doctor is expected of me, like the earlier generations of my family. But it always seems hard for me to get to where I want to be. It would be amazing if there were an easy alternative. Something like a simple injection to become smart, lose weight, become beautiful, to be perfect!
‘Outside the Square’
Watercolour and graphite on paper
Along the way that I have grown up, a mixed feeling of increasing pressure and expectations of parents filled every aspect of my current life. The journey of finding my true self is confusing and gives me anxiety that comes from the unclear future. It is hard to determine what I am truly passionate about and if that meets people’s expectations. It is a decision between following the rules that applied to me as I am obligated to please others who gave me support and to fit into the surroundings; or to break free from the restraints of the social framework, find my identity as an individual and what is worth devoting time to.
Beneath the Surface
Paper Cutting and Pencil Drawing
In being an identical twin, there exists endless stereotypes, which I am exposed to day after day. These stereotypes have become such normal views within society, and as a result of this, often cause the feeling of frustration. Within these stereotypes, exists the perception that despite myself and my twin being two different people, we are considered to be identical beneath our physical appearance, and as a result, considered one individual. As a result, I feel as though I lack individualism and that I have no control over my identity or how I am perceived. Amongst each layer, even more emotions and feelings are expressed, therefore sharing the reality of being a twin.
Acrylic on canvas
The pressure of decision making regarding what I want to do in my future years out of school is increasing as I approach my last year of schooling. This art piece represents the confusion and stress that I will soon face concerning this. Connecting to my personal identity and my link to Japan, these stresses are represented through the seasons of Japan – acting as a time clock, with certain aspects (e.g. cherry blossoms) representing new life cycles. My mind in current time is perplexed with confusion and uttermost disorganization. But, with time and patience, all the thoughts that are being experienced now will very quickly become thoughts and memories of the past, as I begin to find my own identity as a growing individual.
The objective of this art work is to try and open the eyes to what our species has turned into. It has evolved so much that in some respects it is barely called living. I have created a disturbing theme to go with my message, as it really creates an exaggerated filmic depiction of our lives. Using the masks to create a ‘blank’ face proved to be very effective.
The masks were used to get across the first and main message of the personality and uniqueness being sucked out of the lives of today’s population. As the masks were exactly the same it created an effect that no one was different. Yet there is some hope.
Quiet, always quiet, never heard.
The dark gripping film ‘Silence’ reveals and delves deep within the mindset of males who suffer from depression feeling trapped and engulfed by the negativity of life. These are the ones who can not seek help and lay suffering day to day. The concept of silence is portrayed in the film to privilege the audience allowing an insight into the pain within males who suffer depression. Society has painted the ‘men are strong’ message, the ‘don’t cry’ message and ‘don’t talk about emotions’ or you are seen as weak but this silence kills and things have to change.
The deep inner self-consciousness of the human mind creates true raw emotions. These artworks express the tireless, distressed emotions and how body image in our society causes self-doubt, anxiety and depression.
Iconic inspiring people
I have deconstructed characters who have become household names over the past Century and classified them as common archetypes expressing one core value they held.
Lead Pencil Drawing
The world continues to deteriorate and amongst the turmoil there are people that are seen as superhuman. People with a political stature that allows them to do anything the want, whenever they want, no matter how detrimental their actions may be. They may ultimately decide the fate of the global population, but what if they were born into less fortunate families?
Acrylic Paint – recontextualised artwork
Mother Nature is pregnant for the 6th time and there is an infection. A virus, a disease that wasn’t present in the past.
This leech has latched itself onto our population and for generations to come. Pollution. It isn’t a quick fix and will scar the landscape of the planet for centuries. Humanity has fallen into an abyss of ignorance.
This artwork shows the pollution that is joining the ecosystems. Pollution continues to accumulate throughout the world becoming a highly unfixable disaster. The reef is visibly effected by global warming and bleaching events. The ecosystem of a reef is fragile and slow to fix.
Acrylic on canvas, resin sculptures
‘Double Silence’ explores the concept of memory acting as the foundation of our existence and identity. Once dementia takes hold of someone, an ultimate silence manifests in their mind. This work depicts the overarching need of those with dementia to grasp the remnants of their memory in an attempt to ‘hold on’ to what once was. The negative space created by the hands represents the void dementia brings; one of loss and loneliness. One that many can relate to.
Mixed media on paper
‘Phrenic Ontogeny’ is a series relative to the subject of Hybridity, specifically demonstrative of interaction and evolution. This artwork depicts the key connections between humanity and Mother Nature; it is a vivid overtone, sourced with the purity of the ever-evolving interchanging mind. Everything in life is in its existence as an associative loop with a constant concept that one will either come to fruition or, find its end. Evolution, to any extent, is inevitable. So whilst there is time, humanity must let everything interrelate with no cessation. It is all beautiful.
‘Interiorly Exposed’ explores the notion of bringing the inside out, in an attempt to reveal the growing deprivation humanity faces of an authentic existence. The figure wears a seemingly ‘natural’ fabricated neck piece, channelling the skeletal forms of the spine. However, the organic shapes and natural colours are deceivingly artificial, constructed from purely man-made materials, suggesting our superficial existence is of detriment to the environment. The figure depicted in the images, appears unphased by the restrictive nature of the garment, signifying our worsening detachment from each other, communities and human interaction as advent of innovation increases.
Acrylic on canvas
‘Higanbana’ explores the relationship between life and death as the fundamental notion of existence. The skeletal figure is representative of death whilst the two babies she embraces are symbolic of life. Death supplies life her ‘milk’, as the circle of life is sustained and the cycle of dependency continues. Red and white death lilies engulf the figure, a symbol commonly associated with regeneration and the restoration of innocence after death. Overall, symbolic imagery creates a paradox where the line between life and death is blurred and the viewer is encouraged to reflect upon the inevitable promise of death.
‘Internal Augmentation of Collected Misconception’
Mixed media sculpture
Human behaviour is a complicated, intriguing and somewhat divisive topic. The way an organ functions within each individual is the same regardless of what is seen on the outside. Society however, does not look beyond the ‘cloth’ or cloak of what is visible to the eye only. Groups within society set unrealistic standards, rules and guidelines for normalcy which discriminates against individuality and unique attributes. Pressure within society to conform ensures the creative qualities of individuals are discarded due to judgement and misconception.
Wrapped up and Out of Sight
Photograph on Capper Board
This body of work addressed the human delusion that when we discard our waste, it somehow disappears, that somehow, if we place it out of sight and pretend it doesn’t exist any longer, the problem isn’t ours. The wrapped object has been a long fascination, and the Christo-Jean Claude like media allowed me to play with the underlying form of each object while maintaining a fine balance between knowing and unknowing. Nature cannot absorb our habits any longer. This work is one of 15 images that rely upon the beauty of the setting to seduce and the message that descends to shock if you give the work time to work on you.
Split Views: My Nightmares
Drawing Projection, Photography, Light Painting Digital Manipulation
The human body is a shell; protecting and concealing the psychological emotions and pictures only the individual themselves can feel and see. But what if we could see these psychic visions in physical sight? Through my body of work, Sleepless, I captured a psychological scene that, at the time, I was experiencing. A trigger of nightmares caused many sleepless nights for me, and it was impacting my day-to-day mood. In this unit of work, the focus of emergence influenced me to turn these nightmares into art to reveal personal psychological scenes; in an attempt to overcome and emerge from the state of sleeplessness. By manipulating the standard purpose of photography to capture ‘a’ truth, using long exposure, I was able to externalise a scene that was before invisible and uncommunicable to others.
Lumbaru: Flora and Fauna
Frottage on rice paper and Kraft paper with shellac snakes digitally reproduced from original.
This work is based on the alchemical relationship between flora and fauna embodied in me. Lumbaru is the name I was given at my birth. I was born in the northern area of WA known as the Kimberley, reknown for its dry bush and its distinctive native species. When I came to the world, my family was in a small aboriginal community and they named me after the spirit of a King Brown, Lumbaru that was killed at the same time I was born. These snakes and the plants on which it rests are me; the frottaged flora refers to my Christian name; Daisy. The shapes of the snakes signify the signs of life and infinity – symbolising that life continues, in an infinite cycle despite our ignorance of its patterns. These artworks have a range of different visual elements to convey my intended meaning; texture, tonal contrast, colour and the variety of layered media all relate to the complex meaning.
What Difference Does It Make
Video Loop - could we please play it through twice before moving on to the next work?
My work was created to spark questions about the nature of gender, how it can be expressed and therefore defined. Gender is complex, it exists on a spectrum and a person’s gender is unique to them alone; however, traditional gender expectations are deeply entrenched in the fabric of society. In this work I wanted to invite an open engagement with the construct. True expression is so often hindered because society has repressed all variations of non-conformity; if it does not fit, it cannot be. Gender can also be projected onto an individual and this work explores that idea.
Passage into Transience Diptych
My body of work, Passage into Transience, exposes the various levels of consciousness of a child as he, not only transitions into adulthood, but as he realises the fragility and impermanence of our existence. The portrait series, from which this diptych was taken looks at the psychological conditions of Puer Aeternus or Peter Pan Syndrome and Chronophobia.
My interest in this right of passage, involves the child leaving behind the stability and natural state that is childhood and passing into the artificial pretences of adulthood. The works also explore the coexistence of ‘man and environment’, a delicate balance that is too often damaging. These psychological self portraits have the appearance of dream imagery and their meaning is meant to utter to the viewer through symbol, visual language and visceral memory.
Photographic Stills of Performative Installation
People don’t seem to understand the consequences of abusing their body perhaps because they cannot see the physical damage occurring beyond their skin. In my body of work, Decaying Spaces, I expose the fragility of our internal systems. To see the visceral and vulnerability laid bare outside of the skin’s surface is disturbing to say the least. My context is both socio-cultural and personal. I have explored the horrific epidemic of continuous substance abuse through my inquiry process and tried to make my works aesthetic as well as shocking. Working in the derelict environment of Terranora Lakes Country Club, I have matched place to symbolic intention.
‘Is it desire’
In my work, ‘Is it desire’, the main idea stems from a study of human psychology, particularly, human desires. I wanted to reveal how desires and the wishes people experience are hidden inside but emerge in fleeting moments and can define us. Using long exposure photography and costumes I constructed from aluminium, I wanted to capture these instances that can shift a person’s understanding of someone else.
Photographic. Peace Cranes and Projection
This work is an attempt to reconcile contradictions through an alchemy of opposites; the rhetoric of Trump’s claims about peace and destruction has brought us to this. I have made origami cranes; a symbol of peace from paper printed with Trump’s face – the face of the 21st century that exemplifies the potential for destruction. The use of Kim Jong Un invites the viewer to consider the consequences.