Fear Is Not Quiet

Through art I record my observations of the world around me, so that I can learn more about what I’m seeing and make sense of it. A found photonegative of myself as a child, afraid, inspired me to explore the concept of fear. I had no memory of this moment or context in order to understand this photo. All I could see was myself, backed up against a wall, hands to my face, afraid. I wanted to paint this emotion not just with the expression on my face, but through colour to show the intensity of the emotion. Fear is not a quiet emotion that can easily be ignored or hidden; it’s loud and demands attention. Your brain becomes hyper alert causing your heart to beat faster, pupils dilate, breathing accelerates, and you start to sweat and tremble, heat rushes to your face, or you experience chills. You feel faint, butterflies in your stomach, ringing in your ears, numbness or a sensation of pins and needles, and you feel confused and disoriented. These overwhelming feelings of anxiety can be very frightening and distressing to experience, so much so that people can develop a fear of fear itself because of these intense emotion and physical reactions. But experiencing fear is unavoidable and can occur suddenly and without warning. 

Inverted Moments

This series of work is an exploration into using family photo negatives as a way of exploring ideas of memory. The inverted colors of the images changes the perception we have of them and allows ordinary scenes to become more dreamlike and otherworldly. With Mylar I am able to work on both sides of the surface and explore the idea of vividness vs. haziness in terms how we visualize memory in our minds. These images mounted to the wood panel adds to this idea as it creates a ghostly marbling affect within the background, while also providing these images with an overall tint relating back to the aesthetics of a photonegative.

Self Portrait Series

These self-portraits were an exploration into ways of representing myself through different artistic media and styles. I was focused on looking at myself through different stages and ages, as I found that ideas of identity come from the knowledge of the past and present and imagining the future. I wanted to explore representing these narratives through figurative drawing without too much distraction from a background or loud vibrate colors. It was important to me that most of the figures were avoiding the gaze of the viewer, as this was a process of looking inward rather than outward. 

Golden Elephant Series

This series explores sentimentality and symbolism. These drawings are about the emotional attachment people have to the things they carry around with them (a physical object, a memory, a story, or anything else of great significance to them), things that essentially become an extension of themselves. This thing can be anything that the person wants it to be and can mean something different to different people. 

 

Elephants are creatures that have historically acquired several different meanings, culturally or on an individual basis. They can symbolize strength, patience, dignity, longevity, wisdom, pride, stability, and much more, making them the perfect variable to represent the thing that people carry around with them. The gold of these elephants makes them less of drawings of natural animals, but rather provides them more of an idol quality associated with symbolism. The raw, organic shapes draping over them represents the emotions attached to those meanings behind the symbol.

Toronto, ON, Canada | melissapatelart@gmail.com |