A Personal Statement

A reminder to use writing and the editing process as a tool for understanding.

Recently I have been faced with having to write a personal statement for university applications. Starting this I realised just how lost I was feeling about my own work. I didn’t know what to say when I thought about trying to explain my intentions, but I tried to get on with it anyway. Obviously, the first draft was only slightly better than awful, but it was something. Through editing, however, I started to realise that I was writing as if I was journaling. I was being too honest. Slowly and overtime I used writing my personal statement as an excuse to really figure out my own work. It became much less about presenting my best to art colleges, instead, a personal investigation. It helped me understand how to move forward with my work.

Now that I feel finished with it I have to go back to it, to make it relevant to university. However, it feels useful to me most at its current stage, so I wanted to post it here. This way I can come back to it to remind my self of what motivates me, and that spending time writing about my work this way is such a useful tool when I am feeling so lost. I don’t expect what I say here to always portray how I feel about my artwork, as I know that that is always changing. Actually, when I read this back through in a few months time if nothing has changed, I will know that I need to do something about that.

Here is my very personal statement.

Whether art is being used to communicate a purpose or to portray something more personal, it is an expression of a unique person or group, condensed into artwork with a specific voice. You are presented with the opportunity to understand the history that formed artwork and to see the way that individual lives, and cultural context, can create grey areas in our moral understanding of events. Because art is not made by a society that shares its opinions, but instead individuals from every different realm of society, you can look at their artworks to inform your understanding and empathise with someone you might not otherwise have. Therefore, I hope to study fine art painting on a course with a weighted art history element.

I am interested in exploring the development of different values, the way in which methods of communication can affect this, and the ideas that are taken for granted. My generation has seen a fast-paced change in belief systems and moral values, online presence is now seen by some as just as much a part of who they are as their physical selves. Friendship-making, mate-finding, and social ranking have become so dependent on the way we appear online, that monitoring and cutting out sections of ourselves is normal behaviour, We have to be so excruciatingly self-aware in order to feel accepted, and it’s now part of our everyday lives.

I have had the chance to view this from slightly afar as I am mildly dyslexic which has meant that I have always felt disadvantaged online. It is so heavily dependent on the use of language and strips away all visual signals that I would use in person to develop a full understanding of someone.

During my foundation year, I spent time considering my tendency to create habits. This is when I realised that I could visually represent a mental landscape. During this time we were presented with a small box and challenged to create work from this starting point. I covered my box with layers of repeated forms. Firstly painting stripes, and then knitting until I was left with a blanket to wrap around my box. Next, I tried repeatedly to paint the acrylic dark wool white. The obvious failure in this extending the metaphor for the inability to accept that this distraction is futile. The final action was to pour resin over my wool covered box, hardening the form. This created the contrast between the thing that it is trying to be – soft and comforting –  with the reality that it is all to hide something uncomfortable –   hardening the wool obviously making the box sharp and heavy.

At the moment my artwork is mostly two-dimensional imagery, however, I would like to expand this and I am hoping that the chance to experiment with materials is something university will offer me. I have moved my attention to looking at what it is to have a gendered identity. This started with an exploration of twentieth-century feminist movements and has developed as I have involved my own fascination with the way individuals process ideas of themselves. I try to create work that communicates a moment of self-realisation, or a sense of detachment from the idea of self. I added gendered concepts because it affects so much of our subconscious understanding of identity. You can see my attempt at this idea in my pink paintings that were my final work of the foundation year. I try to communicate the separation between feminine expectations and female reality. The paintings specifically try to capture an expression of realisation of these feminine expectations in characters that are almost offensively female. Inspired partially by the way Adam and Eve are historically painted in their moment of realisation as God reveals to them the consequence of their actions.

Since finishing the foundation course I have been creating work that is trying to develop this idea further…


And this is as far as I have managed. What do you think? Beyond anything else, I just hope that It might help someone with writing their personal statement, or even to offer reassurance that we are all trying to figure out where we fit into ‘the art world’. This is in no way a ‘good’ personal statement, but it is honest.

I know that I love to read other peoples ramblings and figurings, so I thought that other people might like to too. I hope you do! Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear anything you feel like telling me. Even if it’s completely irrelevant.

Thanks for reading to the end!

this was an artistic attempt.Thank you! x

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