Art Conclusive Essay

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“All the best stories are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.” - AC Benson The concept of escape is central to the development of the theme in my work, We escape the mundane reality and boring routine of our daily lives through our dreams and ambitions. We dream to be different. We dream to be truly alive, in such a way that we can look back at our lives on day and think that we have truly reached our full potential and made the most out of each opportunity. However, often it is people’s and sometimes even our own perceptions of ourselves that keep us in “the box” and that “clip our wings” and thus prevent us from reaching our goals. We often live up to the stereotypes placed upon us because of our race, gender, financial standing, culture, nationality etc. To achieve our full potential, we must try to fly above these false perceptions and escape from that which prevents us from chasing our dreams - the banality of reality. ESCAPING THE BANALITY OF REALITY THROUGH NON-TRADITIONAL ART MEDIUMS Brian Dettmer, an American artist1, is an expert at transforming what is perceived and giving it new, true meaning. He is best known for his detailed and innovative sculptures with books and in recent years has established himself as one of the leading contemporary artists working with books today. His work deals with the concept of how information, material and history of our age is being lost, eroded and slipping away from us because it is no longer ‘real’ - it is virtual, digital information. He said, “ In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing.”2 Books, according to society have lost their relevance in their physical form and yet it’s richness and depth is universally respected but the book’s intended function has decreased. Dettmer thus alters the physical form and physical function as well as shifting the preconceived functions to allow new and unexpected roles to emerge. Much like my theme, he is taking away the frame that contains the ideas of the book and changing it to allow it’s true form to be revealed. He meticulously excavates or concisely alters the book so as to dissect communicative objects or systems and allows for its content to be recontextualised and new meanings and interpretations to emerge. The book, in essence thus breaks free and escapes from it’s bindings - its reality. From Dettmer, I investigated the idea of using paper as a medium. However, like Dettmer I wanted to portray the concept of “escape” through my medium. Naturally, “escape” makes me think of birds flying from a cage - but how to represent the birds and how represent the cage according to my theme? According to my theme it is perceptions that are trapping us and our dreams and ambitions that are freeing us, and perceptions are all in the mind. I thus decided to make a white head from Plaster of Paris with my own face on, to make my work more personal. The white represents the dry, yeastless factuality that is reality and from the cranium I attached a wire spiral. In the dream world, nothing is realistic and as it seems - much like the way Dettmer represents the content of his books, and thus the birds shouldn’t be realistic. Wanting to make the unrealistic birds from paper, I opted to make origami cranes from bright optimistic colours. The colours represented the hope, joy and how vivid are dreams are, but mostly how full of life. To add further to the idea that the birds are escaping with our memories, i decided to use photographs from my Lomography film photographs to make the cranes at the the top of the spiral and have them unfolding out into one photograph with a drawing of a bird flying into the distance. the work contributes to the theme of reality being “ripped apart” and the dreams coming together to reach new heights for the individual - perceptions being shed along the way. THE...
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