Throughout this year I have learnt a lot about the importance organisation. With the dissertation out of the way I was now left with the little time to produce a final project ready for submittion in coming days. During this term I had explored different ideas and messages regaurding the Syrian refugee’s that was a current event at the time. It was interesting to see my project evolve along side the news throughout time when the world learnt more and more on the subject matter itself. My views changed when I came to realize why we wouldn’t simply let them in and maybe there is a sense of danger within the masses.
Each idea was explored and I wanted to take almost a journalistic approach to this project. To start with I wanted to just understand a refugee, so began painting and drawing from images found of scenes within this world of Syrian refugees. This was not only done to understand the situation I am dealing with but a way into getting new ideas for me to use as a final piece.
As I was painting, more and more horrific scenes were published over the media of what was currently taking place within the world. This had an influence on my ideas and each new piece was adapted along side media. After a few pieces of work I began to realize that this subject was simply too complicated to illustrate as one or indevidual stories. I needed something different so began to take a step back from the whole situation and began to explore the idea of making links between everyone’s veiw (refugees, west).
The idea of the shadow crept up, something that can escape horror, but cannot be trusted when they wanted to be seen illustrated what was unfolding perfectly. Making links between land, sea and war began to represent the people I wanted to speak for. They are simply stuck between borders. I can understand why they may not be ideal for allowing into the west as what we have also learnt is that there is a sense of danger that comes with the people. We over in the west don’t want to admit it but we have become afraid of terror that has wedge itself and spread through the fires of war. This ties in slightly with my dissertation as I have already touched apong how culture plays a part in veiws and that we are already at war with people like Isis because of it, but yet still have that fear of getting too involved. You could say we are a lot like Syria and just trying to do the right thing, but in these circumstances we just don’t know whats the right thing to do or who to trust.
After a stressful week of show building I have finally mannaged to piece together the last stages of my show. What I have learnt from this experience is the importance of planning as well as team work. The show required a lot of different skills, some of which I had no idea how to execute so needed friends help and demonstration from skilled professionals.
The idea of this encounter module is to simply show your work to outside people to communicate a veiwpoint. What I wanted to communicate is that we should be taking more notice of the people we have coming to us for help from Syria. I didn’t want to illustrate the refugee’s story as a whole but yet focus on the journey and idea of them being like shadows with no one really understanding what to do with them or even if they can trust the person calling for help. Heavily inspired by current events I explored the reasons as to why we over in the west may not feel the need to trust the people outside our lands as there is that sense of fear of possible attacks that can come with them. At the start of this project I didn’t understand why we didn’t help everyone and let them in all at once, but as the news played out and I watched, I started to see reasons why they couldn’t just simply let them all in. This is what I wanted to communicate, the idea of the shadow, made from earth and trapped by sea in the middle of no where. It is simply unfair to labble all people as ‘refugee’ and possible terrorist. So they remain hidden within no mans land, trapped surrounded by battleing and people afraid to get involved.
This project was very hard to illustrate, I wanted something different from others and I suppose its a lot like being a journalist without an opinion. I wanted to take a step back from the whole situation and comment in a none bais way to simply shed light over the shadow and say look this is whats happening. What I have learnt through my time studying this subject was that the conflict simply isn’t against just two sides, its a lot more complicated then that and what I’ve read somewhere that Syria is like a mini world war with in my veiw the innocent refugees stuck in the middle of it unable to escape. And with too many voices shouting about what they think is the right thing to do the only voices that really matter is the people trying to simply live a normal life.
And represent this idea I thought of using ceramic clay figures that give us the idea of people however they are really just fragile shapes of shadows, each with there own stories that have become lost in the masses. I want the viewer to be taken back by the pure number of these figures, a lot like the border gaurds who are confronted by these numbers and what they see, the figures don’t have faces so we cannot tell who exactly they are. I also tried to illustrate the refugee’s view by the way they themselves are made, using beutiful hand made ceramic clay figures to represent them, the clay becomes old and worn out toward the end of the journy to give us the idea of the long treacherous journy they have to undertake. The idea of earth and water from the paintings to represent them going from land to land, small to show how fragile they are within earths nature. only to be left stuck and abandoned by the world in the middle of no man’s land, the water that seperates them from the world.
Views from the shed studio’s floor today as millions of ceramic refugees have turned up out of no where!
I am starting to feel a lot like a EU border gaurd as I am wondering what to do next with the number of people I have within a confined area. The process has taught me a lot in terms of people on both ends. On one hand as stated before the idea of not be able to deal with the pure numbers that have arrived, mean while the point of view from the refugee’s, as I tried to capture and imaging different short stories within each sqaure. I came to realize that the square bases had become the refugee’s world, and that I can manipulate this idea by creating familys and different circumstances that may occur at the time. What I later discovered is that no matter how many of these ‘short stories’ I had made, they become lost in the masses. Some of my favourate pieces had morthed into a giant mass that I no longer recognize.
And the pure number of them and constant movement from place to place had turned them into pure havoc. It was as if they became alive
Ceramic clay refugee figures that I have made to represent a ‘shadow’ effect and playing around with the fragile earth.