2016 Madison Lane and Rugby Road Charitable Trust Visual Arts Prize
The annual Madison Lane and Rugby Road Charitable Trust Visual Arts Prize is intended to expand students’ opportunities for creative expression and to showcase significant accomplishments in the Arts. The prize awards one outstanding undergraduate or graduate artist $2,500.
The Madison Lane and Rugby Road Charitable Trust Visual Arts Prize is presented through the Jefferson Trust in partnership with UVA Arts.
This piece is a self-portrait in the form of a multi-media installation. I projected film as well as a combination of hand-drawn and digitally generated animation on to a medium-sized acrylic painting I created myself. The installation took place in a dark room with the painting suspended in the center from the ceiling.
With this self-portrait, I wanted to engage with the idea of "metacognition" (thinking about thinking). At the time I conceptualized the piece, I was making the effort to be more aware of my mental state. Being more present in my mind helped me identify my emotions better, some of which I depicted with physical representations of animations of myself featured in the piece. The purpose of the other aspects of the piece represented either my mental consciousness or the physical space I found my body in while I was experiencing my thoughts and feelings.
The minimalistic black painting that serves as the backdrop is a representation of my brain, which is both a physical object and my entire consciousness. I made it black with some grid-like shapes to indicate the mystery of the brain that we can only scratch the surface of with the study of psychology. Viewed as an installation in the dark room, the painting is very hidden from view. The 3D geometrical shapes that spin on the surface (described to me once during critique as "search lights") represent the current conscious thought in my mind, which by no means illuminates my entire consciousness.
I incorporated film that I shot on location in various places that I frequent in my life, demonstrating that all this thought in my mind occurs at random moments and times in random physical places. Essentially, I wanted to map the reality of my conscious mind on to the reality of my physical environment.