Prompt: We were tasked in creating a piece that visually represented a relationship between the human body and nature. Our interpretation of the prompt was open to interpretation but had to combine digital and analog formats.
My piece features a human-like mask steadily overgrown by plants in the woods. I hand drew the face, retouching its surface with color to add a porcelain doll effect and sense of realism to the piece. This piece stands as a still for a narrative I crafted in my head. I imagined a girl with imperfect skin who long hid behind this mask of perfect facial features and beauty standards. While walking in the woods and veering off the main path, she came to the realization that she no longer needed this mask, that her identity would no longer be defined by these superficial parts of her exterior. The mask is becoming one with the vines and flowers and reverting to its natural roots. The flower has broken through the socket of the eye, bringing forth a pure and renewed soul (eyes are the window to the soul). I focused on the optimistic side of abandonment of particular beauty standards with a mask that feels both antiquated and futuristic. While we may continue to wear masks over our true selves, it is important to remember what comes naturally.
I combined photographs from a walk I took in Collinsville, CT, a place I spent much of my high school years exploring, to add a personal connection to the piece. I wanted to craft a narrative that people uncovering their identity and wrestling with norms could relate to.