SENIOR THESIS: PEERING IN
According to Dictionary.com identity is, “the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another.” The depth of this concept has always interested me. While a person or place acts as a definition of itself, a stronger descriptor is what outsiders see upon peering in. The comprehensive definition of identity includes everything a person or place is associated with, including what’s found within or nearby. For example, friends define a person like its patrons define a store. Identity, in many ways, is perception and perception equals reality.
Steely Grain, capturing the unity of man-made and natural elements,
represents the IMA’s identity. It's made up of two images, the IMA museum (right) and a Hundred Acres tree line (left). I chose the first because it shows how the museum’s architecture is inspired by nature. I chose the second because the presence of light in
the image mirrors that of the reflection on the museum. Overall, this piece represents yielding - man yielding to nature and nature yielding to man. So, I chose the diamond. I cut out the centers of each diamond, allowing the two forms to interlock. This furthers
the concept of man and nature working together within the space.
Limoncello, a specialty lemon liquor unique to the region, exemplifies
the identity of southern Italy. It contains one image, lemons. I chose
an image of growing lemons, opposed to the liquor itself, because while the liquor can be purchased in many countries, the process of cultivating lemons is unique to the region. Following image selection, I made geometric forms that further the connection
between southern Italy and lemon cultivation. The upward pointing arrows signify the
correlation between the growth of lemons and southern Italy’s economy.The downward facing arrow represents agricultural roots. Like a plant needs roots to grow, a country needs a sturdy basis upon which to mature.
Pendulum is the identity of a swing set. I chose the image used in Pendulum because it’s taken on the level of the seats.
Through cropping, I drew further attention to the seat itself. This way the piece is almost inviting the viewer to sit down. Additionally, I made the center of the piece, containing the seat, clear and its surroundings opaque. This suggests that when swinging, everything else fades away. In choosing a shape to represent swing-sets, I wanted something balanced, to reflect the centered feeling swinging brings
to me. Ultimately, I chose the square. In addition to being well balanced and grounded, the square is one of the first shapes learned as a child, which relates to the overall juvenile feeling Pendulum embodies.
The Oracle represents the identity of Delphi, Greece. Because the Oracle is so prominent in Delphi’s history, I chose an image of the infamous sibyl’s temple. I also knew that I wanted to use circles, in some capacity, as the geometric form in The Oracle. This shape is representative of Zeus’ doves flying around the world as well as the
self-fulfilling prophecies issued by the Delphic Oracle. Finally, the abstract form bursting out of the circle represents the many directions a riddle, from the Delphic Oracle, could send its receiver. The reduced opacity here results in a hazy appearance, evocative of the lack of clarity in the oracle’s prophecies.
Flyover States captures the identity of small town Indiana. It consists of two images, cornstalks and chains. Representative of an agricultural-centric region, the cornstalks occupy the center of this piece. The cornstalks are housed by triangles, which point inward to reinforce the idea that farming is a vital source of income for the region. The second image
utilized in Flyover States, a chain, is representative of two things. First, it denotes farm equipment and new technology in this area leading to more efficient farming. But more abstractly, it refers to how many people in rural areas stay put their whole lives, never leaving to experience people and places different from their home.