This week was quite eventful; full of good discussions and new experiments. Early in the week I met with CCAD professor Melissa Vogley Woods to review my portfolio and discuss the trajectory of my work. I expressed my initial concern with falling back into my “comfort zone”, but was given reassurance to just go crazy with experiments and to not worry about critiques. So, I started to do just that. I had a couple paint tarps laying around and decided to use them as my base; affixing them to my studio wall in a manner that would make it impossible to remove in one piece. I have always enjoyed working with non-archival materials. There’s something rather beautiful and ephemeral about giving art a short lifespan; knowing that in a years time it will most likely be withering away.
Working with my themes of mental illness, I kept reviewing in my head how I can make the piece convey a sensation of obsessiveness and frustration. I began scribbling the number 12 over and over on the face of the tarps. Without going too into detail, I was 12 years old when a lot of the shit in my life started to hit the fan. Using the number 12 seemed fitting personally. As I rapidly scribbled on the tarps, I also began tearing and slashing at the piece. After which I attempted to staple the wounds back together. Applications of acrylic and clear coat were then poured over the tarp sections; flowing down the face as well as behind the piece. It is very much still a work in progress, but I feel it is off to a promising start. I have also been reading up on studies performed by psychologist Martin Seligman; particularly his research of Learned Helplessness and its contribution to understanding the development of Depression. While I could easily discuss my own work from a personal perspective, having research to back my own experiences is always beneficial.
Here is a brief PDF of an experiment conducted by Martin Seligman: Click