Reluctance through Love: A Junior Conceptual Project by Isabel Owen (2015)
For my conceptual art piece, I decided to use flowers as my fine art medium. I picked and pressed multiple flowers from around my neighborhood. I pressed the flowers between wax paper and heavy books for two weeks to capture the texture I wanted. Originally I was going to place the dry flowers in a specific arrangement but after experimenting with them, I felt that placing the flowers without a tight pattern together all together had a more abstract effect. For my digital medium, I photographed a broken mirror that I then altered and edited in photoshop. The way I had originally taken the photo was not how I had envisioned and the lighting needed adjustments, and I wanted to add emotion to it by multiple filters and changes. I then layered both the scan of the pressed flowers and the mirror in photoshop, adjusting the opacities so that they blended in well together. I also rearranged the positioning and edited some of the flowers to create the textures I wanted.
When choosing what mediums to create my conceptual piece with, I thought of what the feeling of reluctance and isolation could look like. I came up with dry pressed flowers because I felt that they capture a-used up, empty, and hesitance essence that often comes with the experience of suffering and pain. This aspect of my piece conveyed the first line of my concept, "the feeling of reluctance". Following this, I came to the question of what causes one to feel reluctance, and why. It came to me that after painful experiences, humans have a tendency to fear such vulnerability and resort to a limbo of hesitance that keeps one guarded and safe. I chose a broken mirror instead of an intact one because the cracks symbolize pain, suffering, and error. I layered the cracks of the mirror with the dried out flowers to represent how they counteract each other.