Leaving my Major Project final crit, I was left with these very important questions; what is the purpose of my art and who am I creating it for? The lack of clarity is one thing that was holding me back from being fully successful. Another bit of feedback which came up was if it was obvious my final shrine was a piece of artwork. I think that I need to take a step back more often and imagine my work from an outside perspective. As I have created the piece from its initial steps, I have grown with it and its meaning. I know why it was created and why its important – but is that clear to others? Without context it may be difficult to understand WHY I do what I do. I understand that this is something I need to be conscious of in future projects.
I wanted to develop this project further to practice and work on these issues. My initial plan was to keep the shrine, but to alter what I was paying my respects to. Originally my shrine was a way of commemorating the Virgin Mary. To develop on this and respond to feedback I felt I had to change this somehow to 1. Make it more personal, 2. Make it more clear it was a piece of artwork, and 3. Be more aware of how others view my art and what it could be signifying. An idea that came up during my final crit was creating a shrine dedicated to my past self. One of the reasons I chose the Virgin Mary was to show my respect for what she went through, as told to me by my teachers in Catholic Primary school.
When reflecting on this project, I couldn’t ignore the memories and influence my primary school experience had. This experience is something I’m never fully honest about as it was a incredibly difficult time for me. Henceforth, the idea of creating a shrine to my younger self held the same reasoning my shrine for the Virgin Mary did – to respect what she went through.
Unfortunately, my plan to do so can no longer be executed fully due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic. What I have to offer in place of this is my planning and an explanation of my idea.
My original shrine was held and photographed in the college studio booth space as it had a white background. I used the white background and white sheet as a base as it represented purity. It also made the objects in the shrine stand out.
My new shrine would be held somewhere significant. When considering this, my main ideas were; my primary school, my grandmothers house, the street I grew up on, where I lived as a teenager, at the church I attended, or at my current home in Edinburgh. I think holding the shrine at the church I used to attend could be interesting as it a direct link to the religious theme of my project. My primary school was knocked down the year I started high school. As my dad and older sister also attended this school, it was a strange feeling when the building was replaced by rubble before being turned in to a secular school. Because of this, holding the shrine at this location could be successful as it is a way of also commemorating the school and the memories of myself and family.
I have considered if the time of presentation matters. As my primary school has now been replaced by a different school building where mostly secular students attend, I would have to be aware of the children going to and from school at particular times. This art piece is not targeted towards younger age groups as it holds a more unfriendly and serious meaning behind it. The use of sound could also be upsetting for children. Unlike my Mary shrine, I would like to make this shrine interactive to see how the audience would interact with it. To get around these potential issues, I would have to present it after school hours to avoid a huge mass of children. I think holding it at night could be effective due to the candles lighting up the dark.
If this were to be a public installation, I would also have to consider if I want to use sound when presenting the shrine. I have considered using audio of traditional Roman Catholic hymns, me repeating prayers, or to create an audio of myself screaming and crying to represent the sorrow of Mary throughout her lifetime. I think using jarring collection of sounds of crying overlapped with hymns would be successful to create a sense of unease and a tragic experience, best representing my theme of sorrow.
I would like to use some of the objects I previously included in my Mary shrine, including the candle holders, wilting flowers, and the vases. This is to keep the same
The objects used in the shrine would consist of significant things which hold their own memory – for example, a stuffed animal, jewellery from relatives, baby teeth, ornaments, as well as photographs of my younger self so it is obvious who this shrine is made for.