Monday, September 19, 2011

Coursework Prepwork (final)

Can't believe that I'm finally done with the prepwork boards...took almost a day per board (8 days in total) to complete them, mostly because my sketches and research drawings were rather huge and I had trouble arranging and organizing them into the eight A2 boards. Ended up discarding some as they could not fit into the boards...T.T

Artist Statement: 
In the 21st century, we are all too aware of the many environmental issues that trouble mankind, from pollution to Global Warming, from ozone depletion to erratic weather conditions. Yet how many of us put in that extra effort or go the extra mile to conserve the environment? Apparently, not many. World leaders refuse to cut down on carbon emissions, ignore the pollutants from industries and remove thousands of hectares of forests to make way for more factories. It's for economic growth and the good of the people, as they commonly claim. Yet little do they know that millions upon millions are dying from the fumes of factories, droughts, water pollution...... and the list goes on. It's almost as if man is paving his own path to extinction.

In my coursework, I have explored the idea of victimization due to environmental destruction. Afterwhich I chose to focus on the irony of man's success and failure of conquering nature. This work aims to evoke a sense of fear in the viewers and make them realise the dire consequences of such actions on both the environment as well as ourselves.

Anyways, here's an overview of my pre-coursework research:

Decided to research into victimization as a result of man's environmental destruction. Here, I investigated on the effects of man's actions on animals and natives. You may find this rather repetitive and unoriginal as I still lack inspiration on how to go about expressing the topic...until...

 ... while doing research on environmental sustainability in China, I chanced upon this really interesting quote which sparked my inspiration and further areas of research into the topic,

"... we would have to be ready to suffer arrest, detention, imprisonment and death, as the only alternative to the struggle is extinction..."
- Ken Saro-Wiwa, Environmental Activist/writer

This made me realise the irony of the relationship between man and nature; while man attempts to dominate nature (and at times he seems successful), he is actually attempting to commit suicide and paving the path of the extinction of mankind. Such irony. This also reminded me of a quote by Han Sai Por, "we are a part of nature, not apart from nature." Therefore, while destroying nature, we destroy ourselves... and this led me on to several ideas of the composition of the final painting.

I then went on to investigate facial features as that is where most of our emotions are expressed. 

... then the hands to suggest the struggle and desperation... and my first few nude drawings...

while googling randomly for bodies, I came across a sculptor, Emil Alzamora, who was interested in distorting human figures to portray various situations (view my previous post). So I decided to investigate into the distortion of the human body to suggest a consequence/punishment of environmental destruction as well as to make the figures appear more disturbing.

I also experimented with the background drawing inspiration from the Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault. wanted to keep the background as a light simple wash of the different shades of brown so that it would not 'steal the limelight' from the tree and the figures which were the main subject matter.

proceeded to research on the roughness of the tree bark on the trunk and roots. couldn't help but scrutinize the bark of almost every single tree I pass during this time... some passers-by stared at me like I was nuts...

tried painting the bark to suggest the texture. loved the thick paint to create the roughness of the bark. The darker color of the bark also brings out the 'creepy' feel to the tree :)

Finally, I experimented with the arrangement of the human figures... and arrived at my final composition.

Woah, close to 7 months of work... time flies...

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