EPEGNOSTHEN – I Am Known
Epegnosthen explores the concept of what it means for me to be fully known by an all-knowing and all-loving Creator. To be fully known through the process of creation itself, through the context of Psalm 139 of the Holy Bible.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” Psalm 139: 7-15
Isabella uses light and different colours to create a dreamlike setting/ambience in her self-portraits.
Rosie effectively uses props to tell the story about her in her self-portraits. For example, using butterflies to show her state of vulnerability. Similarly, I was inspired by her to use a prop (yarn) to tell my own story of being knit.
Initially, the idea was to show the different beliefs behind creation (Christianity, Atheism, Hinduism) but realised that firstly, I do not know enough about other beliefs to form a work out of it and claim to connect to it, especially as a self-portraiture. Secondly, was reminded that it would not fulfil the brief’s intention of it being a reflection of the self as it would be speculative instead of a self-portrait.
The work then developed into something more personal. A personal experience with this belief/truth that I subscribe to. It would explore the personal relationship I had with my Creator. The story would be told through the use of lights to create the dreamlike ambience, with different colours telling different parts of the chronological story.
Experimenting with lights:
- Turned off the lights in the room at night to create an environment where no unwanted light will enter the room so that the lights shown will be fully controlled.
- Shone the light source (IOS App: ColorScreen) on the white wall space
- Experimented with the saturation, hues and double-light set up to create the setting that I was going for.
- Used a cup over the iPhone flashlight to create a spotlight effect.
I did face some challenges like being unable to control other light sources in the room like light from a fish tank that can’t be turned off. The issue was partially resolved by placing a cardboard over the light.
Other than experimenting with lights, I also experimented with yarn. Trying to make it seem that the yarn was coming right out of my skin, using my skin-coloured powders and clay. I also used coffee grounds as “dirt” to make myself look more scratched up or dirty in the “third” portrait.
My Creator knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am moulded and designed with purpose and care, thread together by fearful hands with the Creator’s own breath in my lungs. I am fully known and loved by the One who holds the needle.
Though perfectly made, I am made imperfect. I am forgetful of my identity and what it means to carry it. I’d wilfully run towards the first thing that gives me an alternate sense of self and fall into this endless pit of loss and fear. The further I stray from Him, the more I lose my identity.
Yet even in my misdirection, this identity never changes. Though I’m minute, disloyal and stubborn, I am still and forever will be a child of my Creator, fully known and loved by Him.
- What was the rationale behind the positioning of the pictures?
- What is the symbolism of redness? Contradictory to what they understand (red = satanic ≠ holiness)
- Suggests that redness = fetus status in the womb
- White dress worn is all encompassing.
- My focus on the light suggests my focus on the Creator.
- The cheerful expression suggests a good relationship with the Creator.
- Got the impression through the statement and portraits that though I described myself as minute, I was still important.
- The composition of the portraits or where the light is coming from could further hint at the chronology and improve the flow in which the eyes would be directed.
What I Would Improve On/Reflection:
E.g. Changing the position or direction I am facing from left to right. So that my arms could act as a pointer to where the viewer’s eyes should focus on, all while the light is still coming from the left to keep the position of the “Creator” constant throughout all portraits.
The process of taking these self-portraits challenged me to see life in art and vice versa. To be more vulnerable in the way I view art and using these techniques to tell a message/story through the images.