Elayna AlexandraElayna Alexandra
One day in the doctor’s office, looking at another set of x-ray films of my disabled body, I was struck by the strange beauty of my bones—the soft, delicate shading of grays and blacks and then the starkness of the metal materials pieced through the bones. When the doctor stepped out, I snapped some digital photos of my x-rays, and later at home I worked with them in Photoshop. Suddenly, these pieces of bone came to life. What was hidden beneath layers of skin and muscle became exposed. I began looking at the contrast between my photography of bones and pieces of nature and paintings I had made depicting a variety of subjects. Layering these diverse images together reminded me of the complexity of life—what we hold covered up and hidden now lay in front of me uncovered. Comparing bones with ordinary pieces of beauty—a rose, leaf, or a moth’s wings arrayed with detailed designs—I was reminded how in our crazy lives we pass by so quickly the details of the natural world as well as the complexity of our bodies. The intent of my digital work is to bring attention to hidden layers of life, asking viewers to continue to look deeper, into both my work and into their own lives.
I also wanted to use my hands with paint and other mediums to explore this relationship of our human insides, disabilities and emotional desires with the natural world more. I have completed many pieces now in acrylic, sculpture, and watercolor. I use each of these mediums for different reasons and with each find the ability to explore my interests in new ways. The unforgiving branches of a pine tree stretched and tied with wire to a wheelchair wheel expose my own personal fight, as well as humanities’ fight to be or not to be tied down or restrained. Mirrors hung to this piece reflect viewers as they examine this sculpture creating a dance between art and personal experience. Large canvases dripped with paint, sculpted with gel mediums, wood, and metal deconstruct all the details and leave my exploration to an impulsive expression. Then stepping into the veils of watercolor, I can capture again the layers that our lives encompass. But now I capture them in new colors and with purposeful inaccuracy, instead of exact representation, choosing to draw attention to the interactions I see among body, color, and nature. Through this mixture of mediums I am able explore the human condition with broader expression, encompassing emotions, thoughts, pain, and structures contrasted against the natural world. Through this diversity a larger picture can be created.
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