My body of work has explored a central theme of my family's metamorphosis throughout life. I looked at the importance of culture growing up in a host country, the influence my parents have had on my life and finally I examined the passing of time - looking at self-realization and in a more literal form in the changes as we age. Culture, parents, and the passing of time are influential in shaping my understanding of metamorphosis. Through my work I aimed to investigate how we are shaped by our environment, be that physical or through relationships and the changes we undergo during our lifetime. I hoped to achieve a heightened sense of self-awareness and create space for my audience to reflect on their own metamorphosis.
My work takes the audience on a journey through my families’ metamorphosis starting with, ‘Guiding Hand’ and ‘Love at First Sight’, which convey the importance of my parents throughout my life. The pieces completed in acrylic and colored pencil look at the details of my parents' faces and how I see their faces in my mind's eye when I need guidance. Next, the viewer sees ‘Addiction’ and ‘44 Years Later’ demonstrating the passing of time, 44 Years Later seeks to explore my grandparents’ physical metamorphosis since their wedding day. ‘Addiction’ is a self-realization piece which helped me explore my addiction to running and the impact that it had on my life. This piece was powerful in changing my mindset. The final two pieces, ‘Reflections of My Childhood’ and ‘Landmarks of My Life’ demonstrate my positive interactions growing up as a third culture kid and how I have combined a host country's culture in my identity.
Reflections of my Childhood
Canvas. newspaper, water color, graphite pencil and embroidery thread
59.4 x 42.0 cm
Representing my earliest childhood memories of living in Oman this piece depicts the important cultural elements of growing up in a host country and integrating that culture into my life. The recurring Islamic pattern symbolizes the strong artistic culture which forms Arabian culture while the headscarf represents the cultural clothing, I was surrounded by growing up. This self-portrait demonstrates that although I am not Arabian, being surrounded by such a prominent culture was enriching.
Acrylics on canvas
40 cm diameter
Touch represents a form of intimacy. Hands form the main basis of touch. Physical affection and intimacy play an important role during infancy and childhood due to the skin being the largest sensory organ and the first to develop. Through this piece I wanted to convey the importance and significance of touch through hands when growing up. The piece shows an older and younger hand to demonstrate the guidance we receive from our parents when growing up and the key role they play in our development.
Landmarks of my Life
Paper ink pen, graphite pencil, water color
40 x 29.5 cm
This series combines architecture and portraiture. The combination of the two elements represents that I have lived in 3 countries, the culture I have experienced through architecture remains with me. The Omani National clothing represents the richness of a culture I was once a part of. The blue of the dress is contrasted with the black pen buildings to show the two different elements of self and surroundings, yet the overlay shows how they both form such a large part of my traditions.
44 years later
Canvas Acrylic paint
60x 40 cm
This piece aims to explore the similarities and differences in the facial characteristics of my grandparents on their wedding day up until the present day. 44 years separates these two photographs. Some characteristics change throughout a lifetime, yet an individual's physiognomy remains rooted. The blue background contrasts the warm tones of my grandparents' skin. I created layering using a pallet knife to demonstrate the many layers of life, growth and the building of relationships.
Love at First Sight
Paper, color pencil
33 x 28 cm
Our metamorphosis begins with our parents. This piece aims to convey their importance when growing up. Inspired by Brian Scott, I used layering and burnishing to create a sense of realism. The two perspectives this is drawn from portray the watchful eye parents have on their children while growing up and guiding them throughout their life. The bottom panel demonstrates the intimacy between the two which forms a loving home while growing up and the coming together as a pair of loving watchful eyes.
Canvas Acrylic paint
118.8 x 84 cm
This self-portrait portrays my addiction to running. I began as a recreational runner but have undergone metamorphosis and am now addicted to improving my speed. The dotted background inspired by Yayoi Kusama symbolizes a move towards a more concentrated approach to running. Running into the more densely spaced dots portrays that my running has become an addiction rather than just an interest. This piece demonstrates my self-realization of the damaging effects my once passion was having on me.