Shreya Pillai

Belong Everywhere and Nowhere

Class of: 2024

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: Digital Word Painting/ Print

Faculty: Audra Wolowiec

Prompt: Using your Memoir writing from Seminar as a starting point, locate a selection of short phrases, sentences, or single words that convey your presence, a message to others in public space that “you were here.”

For this project, I created a digital word painting/print inspired by a phrase that I had used in my writing for Seminar: Belong Everywhere and Nowhere. My memoir in Seminar is based around my experience as a Third Culture Kid and the cultural rootlessness that comes from this lifestyle. I feel in today’s world, everyone is looking to belong. Therefore, this phrase, with its ambiguous nature, will convey my presence as well as resonate with others in a public place, as a message of reassurance or even rebellion against the idea of “belonging”. I was inspired by the works and techniques of the artist Christopher Wool to create this piece. Wool is an abstract painter famous for his word paintings that use pop culture phrases. His works employ a grid- like format that often beg the audience to stop and comprehend the message of the piece. This was my intention behind composing my own phrase in this manner. To emulate the feeling of this being a public proposal, I photoshopped my digital word painting onto images of public places from my own personal inventory of images.