Creating, moulding, reshaping, and refining my body of work was a lengthy process, although through all the prominent decisions made, I could finally view my end result with such pride. I chose a medium that I had briefly engaged with before the construction of my body of work, requiring me to learn and experience new skills throughout this process. Not only did this allow me to acquire techniques that I will hopefully carry with me into the future, but also pushed across a message that I feel passionate about. Each decision throughout the year was cautiously made to most effectively develop my initial plan into my final 18-piece art piece. In order to recreate a ‘creature’ that is metaphorically living and moving, I had been inspired by a South African artist, Oliver Barnett.
With the aim to reflect my recent realisation of the vitality of a creature’s habitat in their lives, I was forced to attempt to provide the deceased creatures I had captured with liveliness and a sense of belonging – what they would have had whilst living in their natural environment. This proved to be extremely difficult and required a lot of patience throughout the re-evaluation and re-doing of many designs that did not completely fulfil this concept. Having multiple pieces further allowed me to communicate the fact that creatures and plants become a reflection of the cycle of life that is inevitable within our world, having each piece maintain its own individual texture and colour scheme in relation to the animal being depicted.
As part of my artmaking and conceptual practice, I was granted the opportunity to have private access into the Australian Museum collection, to capture specific animals’ underneath glass – butterflies, bird wings and sea urchins. I was extremely grateful for that opportunity and unique, independent learning experience. The choice to utilise Perspex as the medium instead of a foam board or aluminium to present my art pieces had further added a three-dimensional element to my work, whereby the viewer is able to discover each and every intricate textual detail that may ‘seem’ mysterious. It was towards the end of my process that I had decided to individually name each ‘creature’, encapsulating all of the characteristics of both the animals and plants that had been intentionally combined.
It was through this long and fulfilling project that I had learned that being organised allows one to overcome many barriers, such as, time pressure and perfectionism. Additionally, being self-motivated and accepting of the projects malleable nature, ensured that my end result could reach its potential and what I had envisioned. It was through the guidance and support that I had received from my visual arts teacher and Emanuel School throughout my Body of Work process that ensured this would occur.
Allegra's HSC Visual Arts Body of Work has been selected for ArtExpress and is on show in the The Armory, Sydney Olympic Park until April 28.