Tryptic Artist Statement: Sister Spirits
In this triptych piece I chose to represent my sisters and myself using charcoal. I find charcoal to be a great tool because it is moveable and workable while also being strong. It always add great contrast to a piece. Charcoal also is a very basic tool, so it has this ancient and age like feel and I like the look of that in my pieces. I chose ton represent my sisters and I with our “spirit” animals, or the animals that I feel best represent each of us. Each animal tells a little background into our story and our lives.
For my youngest sister, I chose a monkey. I chose this because she is the youngest and the most innocent, and while she gets jealous and annoyed by her older sisters, she does mimic some of our actions, and loves to play and embrace her still present childhood liveliness. I tried to capture this likeliness in the monkey an her, as they both have very bright eyes that seem to be eagerly looking towards the light. My other sister, I represented with a rhino. Rhino’s are territorial, independent, and strong animals, and she is just that. She has always been strong tempered and strong willed and likes people to stay out of her things. But she also has big heart and is caring and compassionate, which I think is shown in the softness of her features, and the softness of the rhino’s eyes. I chose an elephant to represent myself because they have become my new favorite animal and I feel I can relate to them. I recently watched the documentary Tyke The Elephant Outlaw, which tells the story of a circus elephant named who was killed in Honolulu after escaping from the circus and running rapid in the city. The way the documentary portrays Tyke, is not as a wild beast who trampled people, but as a caged animal who was free for the last few minutes of her miserable life. Her whole life she had been jumping hoops to please others and had never been able to express herself or know who she really is, or should be, a free elephant. That may be very dramatic, and I am not saying my life has been as difficult as Tyke’s was, not at all. But in my own way I feel like my life has been a circus, and that I have been trapped, afraid of disapproval, and unsure of who I am suppose to be. For that reason I chose the intelligent and strong willed elephant, in hopes that I can strive to embody the same spirit and drive in my future endeavors in life.
Originally I planned to have the animals be the main focus, and have my sisters and myself be inside, like the spirits. But as the drawing progressed I realized that I liked the looked of us standing beside our animals, like we were equal. You can see how the process shifted as my youngest sister’s hairline in partially hidden behind the monkey’s ear. However in all the pieces I wanted it too look like as the piece got darker we morphed more with the animal, hence the obscurity of the necks and back of the head. Overall this piece was a way to describe and contrast what I view as the personalties and life of my sisters and myself.