Week 2: Interdisciplinary Practice

June 14, 2019

When I am learning to apply new concepts, I like start by digging into the exact meaning of a concept.  To me, the concepts of “interdisciplinary practice”, particularly when expressed as “relevant disciplines” was a bit challenging. Discipline has many meanings, however, the best interpretation for this context was disciplines as thematic fields of study or interest. I struggled with the concept of “critical” when applied to related disciplines.  Critical can mean crucial, relevant or a form of judgement.  For this exercise, when examining a photographic sample from my project, “Girl”, I choose to examine the content and style of the photograph in relation to influential disciplines.

dsc06867-2
Amy Eilertsen. 2019. Girl.

My photograph, “Girl” is from a series of illustrations for a book in progress about the embodiment of the seasons.  When I was creating this project, I could see the scene, lighting, dress of the model and other details.  I story-boarded it out, sketching angles and desired backdrops.  I worked with a model and photographed this series in Sweden.

Upon examination of this photograph, I was really surprised when I realized that the clear picture I had in mind, which I thought was my own, unadulterated invention, was a close approximation of the work of Maxfield Parrish, a popular American artist and illustrator.

jason-and-the-talking-oak-1910
Maxfield Parrish. 1910. Jason and the Oak. 

I loved the vivid colors and Romantic style as a kid- to me then, it was absolute escapism.  It’s interesting how, while we may not consciously think about specific influences, we indeed are influenced by our experiences.

The second discipline which is reflected in my work, “Girl” is Greek art, specifically, the statues called “kore”, which translate to “girl”.  These statutes are thought to be an embodiment of the young goddess Persephone.  Interestingly, the story line of this series of photos is has parallels to Persephone.

Kore with almond eyes
Acropolis Museum. Kore with almond eyes 510 BCE. 

Examining a photograph which I have taken and finding related disciplines, after the photograph is created, is a little bit like reverse engineering.  The photo is a product and I am searching for the creative process which caused this product.  I think that I have an opportunity to work more proactively: I can think about influences, about disciplines and about what I want to convey, then capture the images.  Let’s see what happens.

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