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Self Portrait Project

emma.clayton's picture

Artist Statement lil thing (also in document attached)

The fire keeps burning and I am already ashes

This piece is a reflection on this semester. It's a multimedia collage done on a styrofoam poster board using photos, watercolors, pencil, marker, food wrappers, flower petals, matches, and incense. The base of the piece is a drawing of my face etched into the styrofoam with pencil. Next I cut out parts of photos taken during this semester (I take so many pictures). I used the photos to create sections of the piece highlighting specific events or experiences from this first semester. After adding the photos I glued a trail of matches and incense wrapping from one section to the mouth, past the nose, to the eyes, hair, then head. Along this line I wrote “THE FIRE KEEPS BURNING AND I AM BURNT OUT”. I later added watercolor to create a messy fire growing larger till the end of the sentence. I chose to start the trail of fire at a photo of my friend who passed away, as I think of this as the central event to a long trail of emotion. I made the trail pass over each key part of the face, landing at the head to signify how emotion can start small and then grow and expand. Where it expands is the mind, where the physical turns to mental. I filled in some basic background detail with watercolor, the walls of my room, hair, eyeliner… From this spot I began writing. Using sharpie and referencing my journal and my notes app I added part poetry, part stream of consciousness thoughts and mumblings all throughout and over the piece. Most of the time the writing correlates with the general theme of that section of photos, but not always. Though I started referencing what I had written throughout the semester I eventually divulged into my writing whatever came to me. I wrote until almost every piece was covered and I couldn’t fit more in. I chose to make this piece crowded and crammed because that's how it feels inside my brain; I am pulled between a million different thoughts and emotions with high intensity and it often feels crowded and overwhelming, and I don’t know where to start or which angle to look from. Below are some of the writing and ramblings included, as they are difficult to read in the piece. 

link to writing