SHADES OF AMBITION
These geometric renderings of human figures are both a study of motion, from crouching, to running, to leaping, and of emotion. The white figure represents reality. White has connotations with death and stagnation in Chinese culture, as well as with purity in western, so I chose it to illustrate the hesitant, reluctant character at the centre of my piece. The black shapes are like its shadows, the shades of human ambition leaping to escape the reality of its situation. As they explode into the air, the potential futures are limitless – the next figure in the series might be nursing its wounds from a hard fall, or have discovered true, independent flight. Until the white figure finds the bravery to attempt what it imagines, it will never know.
There is further significance in the colours used. The partial translucence of the white paint on the first figure allows the natural tone of the wood to shimmer through, casting a light flesh tone that is reminiscent of mortality and humanity over the figure. The gradient on the final figure, from black to grey and silver, is representative of the nature of ambition. The further our ambitions are from reality, the more valuable they seem, hence the silver. Simultaneously, however, they fade away and become increasingly unrealistic, thus the fading shades of grey.
SHARDS OF SPACE
My final consideration of the theme of reality and light, as I shift from merely suggesting alternative realities to literally shattering the viewer’s field of vision with fragments of mirror and wood. The helmet’s abnormal form is a tribute to the fact that people who see the world differently are often considered odd. By adding delicate details with silk gutta, however, I seek to recapture the fantasy aesthetic of Cebollas, as a reminder that the bizarre, too, are unique and magical. Understanding a fractured universe might be the key to truly understanding our own.