Marie-Pia Bonnot

Reaching for the Light

Class of: 2023

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Zine

Faculty: J Michelle Hill

Prompt: The assignment for this project was to create a zine book displaying a self- portrait photography series, meant to explore our identity and evolution as a person.

Through my self-portrait photography series, I explore my sense of evolution from teenagehood to adulthood and my changing perception of life and relationships through the motif of lights, particularly neon. I wanted to communicate the mix of discovery and confusion that comes with the phase of transition that is entering my twenties and discovering early adulthood, specifically in the context of starting college in New-York City. I chose to symbolize this journey in the city that never sleeps, the city of bright lights and eccentricities by imageries of lights and neon, reminiscent of the city streets, and the eccentric party scene. Although these parties seem wild and colorful at first, I wanted to communicate a feeling of isolation and vulnerability through my pictures. The recurring motif of the hands reaching out to each other and the neon “hello” symbolize one’s need for connections and compassion, a feeling that I think many lonely new-Yorkers, lost in this cold city, can relate to. As I’m entering this new journey and discovering the world under a new light, I hope that I too can find these meaningful connections and experiences, and hopefully, find my own light among the bright signs of New York City.