With an inspiration to examine cultural identity collectively – thinking in terms of humans as a species – I created this series of small figures called, Shadow Soul Silhouettes.
The initial intrigue for me is rooted in the observation that there is a universal human instinct to decorate oneself. Possibly because we are, in our natural state, one of the most visually plain species that exists. When one compares the naked human against the colours and patterns sported by insects, fish, birds, animals and even the players in the plant kingdom we as humans rank particularly low.
As a species we are left on our own to create a visual identity for ourselves. We do this through embellishments: modifying the colour and shape of our hair, painting our faces, tattooing our bodies, and accessorizing ourselves from head to toe. But most of all we accomplish a visual transformation through the use of textiles, textiles for the body AKA clothing/costume.
The costumes created are one of the primary vehicles for carrying a culture’s identity.
In order to deconstruct these cultural identities for this project I have attempted to decontextualize the three most prominent visual elements of costume: form, colour, and pattern.
I have used small, second-hand frames in which I paint black on the inside of the glass and fill the figure’s image with textile scraps that I have collected throughout my travels. Each silhouette stands approximately 4″ tall.