May 20, 2009

The Show is Up

My Senior show has been up for the past week and a half. The reception went quite well, and it was wonderful to see everyone who came. Here are a few quick pictures of how it looks now. Sorry for the poorer quality of pictures. I am hoping to get some better ones this week before it comes down.

It sounds so hurtful to say this, but there are many travesties present in our world today. Death by the thousands from war, child prostitution, and government work camps just to name a few. All of these are threatening our humanity, telling people that they are no more than phantoms, ghosts with no souls: playthings that are easily disposed. It is as if many of us are wandering shells with no hope of finding wholeness. Is our humanity slipping away? And yet, in the midst of this disconnect, people are standing for one another, addressing others in the fullness of themselves. It is my hope that with these few portraits, I can contribute to reclaiming our personhood; reclaiming the humanity that is so precious to every human being.

Shrek was right in his saying that, “Ogres are like onions because they have layers.” Well, they aren’t the only ones. What if you could see the different stories that make up a person down the street? What would you do if you saw others as people and not just walking shells? Perhaps, you already do this, and I hope you will find joy in meeting these eight people who are near and dear to my heart. Lets share in seeing people with stories, hopes, struggles, and the like. This is an attempt to begin the answer to this question of how does one hold onto or regain humanity?

Drawing inspiration from traditional portraiture and the idea of aura paintings, I chose to depict each person in a variety of ways. The portrait and consecutive layers, created for each person, help in defining aspects of the individual’s life. The first is the traditional portrait. The first thing you notice about a person is his or her face or outsides. Therefore, I introduced each person in the usual way. The second image represents an event, decision, or occurrence that significantly impacts who he or she is today. In the third piece, you will find the dust or substance that they imagine they are created from. The fourth shows just the delicate substance of hair left behind when you take the person away in order to represent the fine fibers of humanity and how we come from nothing really. And the empty portrait signifies what the world would have been without them; a lesser, smaller place.

The purpose of this show is to give you the power to see into people’s lives. These people are dear to me, and perhaps by connecting with their stories you will be able to continue seeing people for who they truly are and not simply as distant others.

Susan McCurry

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