I began my search through the archives with some small initial ideas of what I understood being human to mean however these small ideas only became substantial when I came across two silent films from the 1950s which portray two children getting ready for school, this provoked me to think about how the cycle of waking up and performing simple tasks such as getting dressed, brushing teeth and so on, stay pretty constant throughout your life-span.
Upon further research, I found the conceptual ideas of Larry Madrigle particularly thought-provoking he talks about how every individual in the world wakes up every day, no matter the time on context, prompting me to think, it may be our differences that define us however it’s our similarities which group us as a population. There is a consistency of waking up on an individual scale, throughout one’s lifetime, and global scale, throughout the whole population. This I felt held importance.
I did a lot of exploration into these ideas and began trying to capture the small limbo experienced immediately after waking. Which I captured through oil on canvas self-portrait, from a picture taken first thing in the morning. However I didn’t like the translation, I felt it to be too literal and too individual to constitute humankind as a whole. It wasn’t until I found the 1905 illustrations of the human fetus which I felt perfectly resembled the moment I was trying to capture, it was translated in more of a symbolic way meaning it was applicable to a broader group. I explored the fetus in-depth looking at Di Vinci’s early sketches and also Damien hursts sculptures and began creating a college of fetuses which strung together my ideas, I then began painting this collage experimenting with size, this painting is still a work in progress, I haven’t yet painted the babies.
Experience:Being HUMAN 2020/21
Archive:Moving Image Archive (National Library of Scotland)