Olivia Harris

Personal symbol

Class of: 2024

Major: Photography BFA

Medium: Wire, paper, yarn

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: We were each to develop a 3D personal symbol that represents our personality or interests and is inspired by rigid linear materials and flexible linear materials. This symbol could be inspired by how we identify ourselves and how the communities we belong to observe us.

Though I do not see myself as someone who wants to rule a kingdom and have a hierarchy over others, I do see myself as someone who can provide leadership and guidance in various situations. I did research on the clothing royal leaders have worn in the past to be interesting in compelling. With my design, I wanted to create a modern example of something a leader could wear today, with references and influences from royalty from around the world. Through a wearable piece, I wanted to create a neckpiece or a piece of jewelry with wire and beads. I researched more about the specific meanings of colors and beading patterns African royalty wear. I thought including this detail could help me emphasize and pay homage to my African-American heritage. My favorite part of the process was taking the styling photos. Modeling my finished piece felt great. When wearing the piece, I felt the power and confidence I was trying to create when designing this object. I was getting looks during the photoshoot as I was standing on a bench in Washington Square Park, but at that moment it did not even matter to me because I had created something that was meaningful to me and something that I was proud of. Working on this assignment allowed me to create an object that radiates confidence and leadership, and I became more confident in my making and design skills in the process.