Ellie, Hazel and I discussed how we should proceed collaboratively over the summer and what topics we were particularly interested in as a group. We felt that it would perhaps be difficult to work as a true trio due to distance restraints and so thought we should pursue and topic together but create work in response to it independently.
Hazel began the discussion by finding a quote she had recently found in the media that resonated with her and shared it with Ellie and myself.
Both of us felt that the quote was especially relevant to today’s society, not so much as to a specific news story or recent event but where often people are traded and exchanged similarly to an item for personal gain. Ellie eventually decided to pursue her own topic which after consideration she felt she could produce better quality work from.
Personally, I struggled with creating work in response to this quote despite the fact that I agreed with it’s message. I attempted to think of something whimsical and different that I could do but the end result was a bit more sombre and pessimistic than I had hoped.
I started by gathering old user manuals and receipts I had found lying around my house. These pamphlets were often found in old drawers alongside disregarded bits and bobs such as batteries, string, currency and outdated technology. I felt that this was apt in fitting to the quote by showing the progression of what people once loved and soon after time these items are tossed aside and forgotten about. I decided to use the receipts and manuals as the base of my work.
I then experimented with what I would be describing/depicting on these objects. I started by painting, on receipts, certain anatomical features of the human form to represent an aspect of a person. I then painted the same feature, in this case a hand, but as a wooden model and then a mechanical model so the person becomes more and more removed from humanity and transitions to object status. I finished by labelling the hindrances of the human hand and the improved features of the objectified hand.
My second attempt deconstructed the human eye and provided assembly instructions to further remove the humanity from that human feature.
I then created poster like pieces that had a broader message of the manipulation of people. I wanted to showcase how a person is often manufactured by negative circumstance and exploitation which strips them of their identity and so removed the features of the individual in favour of a plastic, generic, blank shell.
I included a distorted portrait of, myself in one pieces, obscured by bar-codes to represent how the pursuit of material profit often overshadows the need to consider others.
The final poster piece is a collection of the anatomical ideas in previous pieces and also the exploration of profit over person. Although I feel this is the most aesthetic piece it is probably the most empty of meaning.
Finally, I had defaced a small manual book with anatomical drawings, which is a more subtle hint to the overarching theme that people, in generic sense, are increasingly considered as objects ready to be transactions, manipulated, toyed with and eventually disregarded like the lost technology of recent years.