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Welcome to the backroom or 'the room in my head', if you must.
Here, I will show you a bit of my thought process during and after the creation of this series.
I hope you take the time to explore these concepts with me.
IN THE MAKING
I started this series in February 2022, with the first painting, Make A Wish. It was painted in a style that I was pretty hesitant to bring to life because it was so magnificent in my mind and I did not want to be disappointed if the execution wasn't as magical. I'm glad I did it, though; it led to some of the best pieces I've ever created.
I have been working on this series all year. I did not want to over-explore the seemingly unlimited concept of "desire" nor did I want to limit my inquisitiveness on the concept so I figured that five pieces felt just right.
I do not like to plan too rigidly ahead so that whatever my mind wants to create, it will feel free to. So, for the most part, it was very much "go with the flow".
However, I was pretty intentional about the positioning of the flowers (and the yellow diamonds in All That Glittered), their colours and the choice to have the subject matter(s) pose with open or closed eyes.
The models in Make A Wish and Idyll both have closed eyes because they are the hopeful ones. Some might argue that they are the more "positive" pieces being that Make A Wish invites the viewer to put themselves in an optimistic state of mind and express their desires wholeheartedly believing that they will come true. Idyll, on the other hand, represents a state of ultimate bliss where the viewer may realise that one way or another, we all desire freedom – or at least the freedom to desire.
Rose-tinted, All That Glittered and Green-eyed each have characters with open eyes. These were pieces I created to reflect the possible outcomes of having some of our desires come true (i.e. after making a wish, you open your eyes). However, in each scenario, each character's blank stare carries its own interpretation of the possible futility of the desires explored in the paintings. For example, in Green-eyed, my understanding of "desiring that which is not destined for one" is that one begins to lose their vision of the desires that will serve them more positively, hence the broken glass pieces in the opened eye.
I wanted to represent what, to me, are four basic colours: the primaries–red, yellow and blue– and their secondary counterpart, green.
The flower colour choice for last piece, Idyll, is a nod to one of my favourite colours, orange. I often call it my "happy colour". I believed orange was suitable for the piece that encapsulated bliss the most. It is also no coincidence that my other favourite colour, blue, was used in a similar way in the first painting,
Make A Wish.
The positioning of the flowers also reflects the optimism, futility or danger the respective paintings portray within the relevant aspect of desire being explored. For example, the orange flowers in Idyll are all facing upwards and are wide open while the flowers in Rose-tinted fall downwards to foreshadow the illusionary and often detrimental reality of idealism/romanticism. Another example is my choice of the spiky looking snake plant in Green-eyed which not only carries connotations of danger in its form and by its name but also alludes to the danger of desiring that which is not meant for you.
A part of my artistic practice I really enjoy is allocating time to sit with my work and analyse it as a viewer. I have attempted to create a map of thoughts that I may not have had in the making but realised in hindsight, especially on how the pieces relate to one another.
Please have a look and do not hesitate to contact me if you want to have a chat about it!
How would YOU arrange the theoretical 'stages' of desire?
Are these desires independent or can they be viewed (con)sequentially?
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