Luminaries Process- Concept Work

October 15, 2021

Luminaries Process

Today I continued working on my examples for the next project I hope to do with my 3D art class. I’ve always known I wanted to work with light, but I’ve been struggling with how to push the project further than a simple process of working with the material.  I’ve been making a few samples of tin with holes to show light, fabric that gives a glowing effect, but nothing with any conceptual meat to it. I want this project to be about more than just making pretty lanterns.

After some research–looking up historical celebrations of light; from religious ceremonies, to cultural events– My findings lead me to a few universal ideas about light. It has been used in ceremonies for as long as humans could make fire, and light has been used to represent life (like the life-giving light of the sun) or enlightenment (like the light of knowledge or spiritual knowing). It has been used to represent joy and rebirth (probably relates to seasons). Light has been used as a metaphor for goodness, as a way of dispelling the darkness AKA fear or unknown. Light has been used to represent the spirit, has been used to guide lost souls home, and many more.

From this research, I’ve found inspiration to create the criteria for this project: To create luminaries that light up the darkness of our lives. This requires some reflection on each person’s part to consider what is dark in their life. When I think of darkness, I think of shame, and for me, I really had to think of a few things before I came up with the idea of fat. I would make a body that is fat but have it be beautiful. This seemed great to me.

But as I started working on my armature, Cam (Mr. Drysdale) came in and we started discussing the project. As I explained the idea of shame and fat, I suddenly became deeply ashamed. Much more than about the fat on my body. My making artwork about being ashamed of fat was much more terrible. Would this project be intended to be vulnerable just perpetuate ideas of body shame? The idea of teaching young people that I am ashamed of my body goes against every feminist bone in my body. Yet still, there is obviously something there that is interesting, and that as an artist I need to pursue, to be honest in my work.

So I pushed ahead and started making an armature for a paper or fabric style luminary.




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