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Throughout my first year, I explored the concept of instability on a personal, individual level; I approached each piece by considering external factors in society and how these may impact an individual’s ability to remain emotionally and mentally stable, drawing inspiration from my own life and community. In my piece Bronzeville Community Museum,for example, I drew inspiration from the history behind the destruction of my hometown’s African American Bronzeville community and the architecture of this community in order to convey emotional instability in individuals of a particular race. In my digital piece Harmonious, I explored my overarching theme by using my own positive experiences with the tranquil nature around me. As I progressed into the second year of IB Art, I intended to further develop this overarching theme by exploring how straying away from straining, external factors allows one to become a more stable and thriving individual. However, as I continued to create my artwork, I soon realized that developing into a stable individual is not a linear path and instead consists of highs and lows; I communicated this through my work by alternating pieces between positive emotions/stability and negative emotion/instability. In each piece, I explored a specific external factor that influences the stability or instability of an individual.

At the beginning of HL art, I was not fixated on or experienced in a particular medium, and because of this, I decided to experiment with a wide range of tools and resources in order to connect my pieces to my inspirations and overarching theme. As I developed as an artist, I soon realized that I tend to stray towards mediums in which I am able to create more realistic figures and settings, and in doing so, I am able to more clearly communicate the emotions of the figures in each piece through texture and movement. In my earliest piece titled Ascend,I drew inspiration from expressionist Kathë Kollwitz and used the block print method; this particular piece depicts a jagged hand crawling up a flight of stairs, which greatly contrasts my final piece titled Tunnel Vision.Rather than using geometric shapes and relying mostly on contrast between black and white tones, Tunnel Visionis a digital manipulation of a photograph taken of my grandfather inspired by modern surrealist photographer Antoine Geiger. My more realistic pieces such as this one rely more on movement and texture rather than value and geometric shapes.

In my piecesSuperficial, Lies, Release,and Shadows,I explore my overarching theme of stability and instability as influenced by society’s fixation on appearance and success, and how this leads to instability in individuals. In these particular pieces, which I created during the earliest stages of HL Art, I used both acrylic paint and colored pencil. In doing so, I was able to rely more heavily on the use of tone rather than movement. By using brighter, more vibrant tones and lighter values, I was able to symbolize the superficial nature of society and connect it to the figures in each piece.

As I developed as an artist, I began to stray away from the use of tone to symbolically convey my theme and instead began to manipulate realistic settings. In my piece Vulnerability, I

experimented with a new medium and created a hanging mixed media piece using a cotton glove, coatrack, and jagged pieces of plastic. In a piece such as this, I was able to rely on the use of light and its manipulation of the shadows from the pieces of plastic attached to the glove, allowing me to utilize movement and let viewers understand the strain of superficial societal standards from a three-dimensional lens.

Through the placement of my exhibition, I intend to communicate to viewers the nonlinear nature of the human psyche, and how stability can and will fluctuate depending on external factors. The only two pieces I felt were necessary to place together were my illustrations inspired by Surrealist artist René Magritte, which utilize symmetry and balance between the placement of figures and objects in order to convey the transformation of an individual who is able to distance themselves from superficial societal pressure.