A narrative of self

For a major work in my final semester I am creating a kind of life cycle self narrative that encompasses childhood. The work is a surreal landscape that is a timeline littered with childhood memories, some of these are pop-culture references, some are personal objects. The impetus behind this work is a childhood memory I have of my dad trying to get me to play football one day when I was very young (probably somewhere between 5 & 7) , I started to enjoy playing that day in spite of my initial resistance but then for some reason I was made to switch uniforms, I liked my uniform’s colours and didn’t want to switch and sat the rest of the game out. I have always remembered this with a bit of regret and felt like it was somehow a childish response that determined my lack of sporting interest for the rest of my life.

I am using this memory as a metaphor for the many things I have clothed myself in over the years, be it a football uniform with appealing colours, a pop-culutre obsession or a bike, it is a metaphor for the shell or the external that we are all too often distracted by. having recently become a father I am now looking at this as a kind of life cycle and a bit of a revelation in terms of what is really important, what you attach yourself to in the external world? Or your internal self and the gifts this life brings you? I have used the beautiful image of a sea shell to further reference this idea, Acknowledging the importance of exterior beauty right down to the use of the golden mean within the composition, but I am trying to counter this with the kind of loose mark making that I feel comes from within. At the far left I’ve depicted myself and my father watching the kids play footy and at the far right my own fatherhood is referenced but with a faceless figure, a clean slate.

I am painting this work on two 61 X 61 cm square canvases and first creating a landscape of some what abstract forms for the objects to sit on. In doing this I hope to end up with two very different works as I photograph the abstract work thoroughly before painting over it with the other imagery.

The companion piece to this painting is to be a mirrored white card sculpture version of the painting, I will be projecting a video work onto this.

Here is the progress from rough to sky and ground painting and sculpture design

The Rough
painting progress 1
painting progress 2
painting progress 3
Design for the cardboard relief sculpture