Creative Arts Competition Public Voting

Voting ends midnight 31st August 2020

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Title: “Quarantine: Through reflections and windows”

The creative piece is attached as a pdf as the creator wants to present it in this format.

Medium: Photograph, DSLR camera, with minimal editing (cropping, brightness/contrast adjustments) in ViewNX 2

Description: 

Most of us are spending most of our time indoors at the moment and while we continue to carry out our daily chores and activities, there’s an undeniable sense of the uncanny. Familiar spaces are distorted as we inhabit them in new ways, often blending the previously neatly compartmentalised parts of our life. Simultaneously, the outside world has never seemed as tempting or held as much promise as it does now. 

This series of five photographs explores the rooms and activities of a household as seen through reflections, and examines the inviting outside world through windows in the time of lockdown, The first image is of an anatomical diagram of a hand reflected in a saxophone button, representing the blurring of my personal academic and recreational pursuits and the first stage of getting through lockdown. The second photograph is of our kitchen in harsh lighting, reflected claustrophobically in a kettle handle, signifying an increasing sense of discomfort, The third image is our backyard reflected in a glass, and inverted; reaching the height of uncanniness. The fourth image is of an amber glow radiating through our front door, and illuminating our covered and unused travel bags. The outside world tantalising despite our efforts to stay inside. The fifth image is a return to the kitchen, now undistorted by reflection, focussing on the open window, bringing in warm, suffuse light and a compromise for now.

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Title: Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind

Medium: Digital drawing done on Procreate using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

Description: 

My piece explores the theme of mental health and wellbeing. The girl is blindfolded in the same bandages that conceals the darkness of the demons in her mind. This symbolises that many with mental struggles either refuse to admit they are not okay, or do not seek help from others. This could also be interpreted vice versa, in that one’s family and friends may refuse to acknowledge their struggles as mental illnesses are highly stigmatised by many people across a variety of cultures and communities. Everyone’s experience with their own mental health is different, but our minds are such an integral part of us that even if we choose to ignore it, it will always be looming over us wherever we go. Hence, I’ve opted to position the ‘demon’ towering over the girl. In a sense, I’ve chosen to draw myself as the girl in this piece. The GAME OVER written across the game console highlights my personal experience with feeling burnt out: I’ve run out of lives with no will left to continue upgrading myself and unlocking new achievements. However, the rest of the world keeps on running and despite the mental and physical fatigue, I’ve got to keep going to not feel like I’ve been abandoned and left behind both socially and academically.

Just because we can’t see someone’s mental struggle doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Medium: Digital artwork was created with a Huion graphics tablet and Adobe Photoshop CC 

Description: 

This artwork is a representation of my personal experience with the Covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on mental health in relation to being a healthcare worker. I am a student, but I empathise with friends and family who are working at the frontline.

The depiction of a young girl represents my feelings of inexperience and unpreparedness for the real world.

A notable symbol is the staff of Hermes (caduceus). This typically represents the hippocratic oath, with twin serpents encircling the staff. In this case, the serpents twist around the girl’s head, showing how truly bound the girl is to her vow.

The girl holds the caduceus in one hand and her own heart in the other. This signifies a tradeoff; sacrificing one’s own life for the cause of medicine. Risking your own health to save other people.

Additionally, having strong emotions can be a hinderence in medicine; leading to burnout. The girl’s tears of blood are a result of seeing the constant suffering people face. She believes being cold and empty will make it easier for her to continue her work.

Finally, the caduceus still shines bright. She holds it higher than her own heart, trusting it to guide her way. The hippocratic oath is valued. The girl knows she will make the right choices if she sticks to her oath; putting her patients’ first.

Covid-19 has highlighted the sacrifices medical workers make in the interest of public health.