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Ascent: A Junior Narrative Diptych by Sierra Pollock (2011)

The story behind my narrative diptych is one of a boy who cannot make decisions. For all of his childhood, his mother made every choice for him, leaving him unaware of how to make his own. Through his life, he was guided along and had no options other than to do as he was told. However, once he leaves the house and the influence of his mother, he has to figure out where to go and what to do completely on his own. He is forced to do what he never learned to do: decide.

The first picture is meant to set up the internal conflict within the main character. I used a symbolic representation of his situation rather than a literal one, depicting his childhood as a staircase. The stairs keep going and going, and require no thought to descend. Nothing different happens and there is nowhere else to go but down. He is shown from a distance, symbolizing how he was not a large part of his own life. I took this picture with a deep depth of field to keep everything in the frame in focus. The second picture shows the moment before he makes a decision, or the “pregnant pause.” He is shown in an elevator reaching for a button, which is yet more symbolism. Depending on the button he presses, he will decide where he goes in life. I took the picture using a shallow depth of field focused on his arm and bracelet to show how he is not sure of anything but himself. The future is blurry and vague, and the possibilities are overwhelming, but he still must make a decision.
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