Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alttius: The Artwork

Alltius: (Finnish translation) exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Alttius began as a nameless canvas lying in a box in T7. No sooner than it had been delivered, my hands were on it, my name scrawled carelessly on the underside of the white fabric. I didn't hesitate to start painting the stormy background, or the golden wheat, nor did I flinch when I painted the base of the hawk and girl.

I soon meticulously started to paint the outstretched wings and individual feathers, applying a pattern similar to that of a European Goshawk. After a somewhat debate of wether the wings were even, and a quick installation of the talons and beak, I decided to outline every last detail with a black paint marker, as I had decided the painting was beyond restoration and wouldn't suffer with a bit of experimentation. The 'Facebook like' and 'Instagram heart' soon sprouted from within the depths of the raptors throat to reveal a hideous creature beyond description, which was apparently pretty 'cool'. So I kept it.

After weeks of being AWOL (refer back to Central Australia Recap), I decided to take the paintbrush back to the canvas, and yet again, created another hideous creature in front of the somewhat munting bird.

I present to you, The Nameless Troll Whose Anatomy Is Terribly Out-Of-Whack. I've never been strong when it comes to painting humans, yet this faceless humanoid may haunt my nightmares until I finish her.

This painting is most definitely still under construction.

The interpretation behind this artwork for me, at least, holds an extremely symbolic meaning. Earlier on in the year I explained to my councillor the feeling of 'being a rabbit in a field of hawks', and as we explored the idea of vulnerability, he told me that hawks and rabbits play a key role in the symbolism of the Native American culture. Rabbits, he said, are the symbol of vulnerability and thus the hawk would be enforcing this image once the food-chain is taken into consideration. Grass photosynthesizes and grows, rabbit eats grass, hawk eats rabbit and so on. The idea of the social media icons (and the girl on her phone which cannot yet be seen properly) portrays the pressure we feel from the internet, the constant images of people we feel we are less worthy of, or should measure up to, the expectations and the online criticism we receive, which leads to self-criticism and ultimately, self-loathing. We are constantly feeling vulnerable on the internet, and this can sometimes leave us exposed and self conscious. I feel this painting demonstrates this concept in a somewhat unusual way but at the same time portrays a strong and important message. Hopefully this notion does not make the painting seem 'dark' but rather conveys an idea that society should take into consideration and study more carefully. More and more teenagers and young adults are being harmed by the use of online media, yet this is often overlooked. 

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