I’ve been trying to zero in on the emotional tone of these drawings, and exactly what I want them to convey. Overall, my work addresses themes of isolation, and I thought it would be important to get a more detailed view of this theme. Over the past few days, I’ve been reading lots of psychology/counseling articles about isolation, which essentially breaks down into loneliness and solitude. They’re both hugely vast topics, which I can’t even begin to touch upon, but I can share some of the concepts which I think are the most applicable to these drawings.
The most important idea I came across is when loneliness occurs even when one is surrounded by others, perhaps the most concentrated form of loneliness. I’m really interested in this contradiction; that we can be with a mass of others and yet still feel isolated and disconnected. In fact, I’m convinced that the physical presence of others around us is exactly what makes one’s loneliness more pronounced and bitter. The other idea I found which for me stimulated a lot of visual possibilities is loneliness as an experience of feeling unseen and unknown. Immediately I started visualizing an enormous group of figures, with several “unseen” and “unknown” figures. While these are simple concepts, these ideas have become launching pads for where to take the group compositions. Previously, my image of the group compositions seemed rather stale and straightforward. These concepts have helped me rethink and reorganize these compositions. I’m now seeing them as hugely crowded group compositions (as opposed to scattered figures with a comfortable distance) with several figures as “unseen” and “unknown”. How I will go about articulating that visually has yet to be determined, but I’m already brimming with the possibilities.