At long last, I am able to present my finished artwork, the culmination of many long hours of hard work, the project I created for the Norway Study Abroad trip I participated in this summer. It made its debut from September 30 to October 15, 2013 in Gallery 102 of the Chase Fine Arts Center at Utah State University, along with the other incredible projects made by the rest of the student team who went to Norway. All in all, I can definitely say that this trip was a highlight of my college experience and a valuable addition to my education. I'd recommend a study abroad to anyone, art major or otherwise. Many thanks to my intrepid professor Carsten Meier, who led the trip and personally mentored me in making this project conceptually, technically, and professionally superb. And now, without further adieu, I present to you:
"Natural Form: Inspiration and Replication"
|"Natural Form: Inspiration" | digital pigment prints on 16" diameter aluminum plates | 2013|
|"Natural Form: Replication" | digital pigment prints on 16" diameter aluminum plates | 2013|
Architecture can be seen as a human extension of the landscape; cities mirror forests, skyscrapers reach to the heavens like mountains, and streets and plazas stretch out across the land as rivers and lakes. It is mankind's creative response to our natural surroundings. Two compositions compare the formal qualities of landscape and architecture that is representative of Norway. Each composition consists of nine circular photographs arranged in a grid, one featuring landscape and the other architecture. The photographs feature varying landscapes and architectural styles, expressing the diversity of Norway's countryside and cities. The individual photographs display a tightly cropped view of the subject with no sky or apparent limits to what is shown.
The arrangement of the grids allows the viewer to fully examine one composition at a time and see how the individual photographs interact with each other. With the memory of one grid in mind, the viewer may then turn to the other grid and compare its own depiction of form with that of the first. The concise cropping of each photograph keeps the viewer's attention on the subject's form, rather than the subject itself. The circular nature of the photograph further minimizes distraction by preventing the viewer from comparing the straight lines of the usually rectangular frame with the lines found in the subject. The round shape directly references the nature of photography itself: all photographs begin as circles that are then cropped into rectangles by the camera frame.
In recognizing these similarities in form, one can see how the landscape becomes an inspiration for architecture. Since humans cannot create the elements of nature, we replicate nature with the structures we build. Using materials and designs taken from the earth, we construct our own environment that is distinctly human, yet inescapably tied to the land from which it rose.