The end goal is to produce 3 ceramic busts of figures that are significant in history and also meaningful to the artist (me, Emily Nasiff). Each bust will require researching each individual that will be modeled. Visual research and biography research will be done in order to capture their likeness and a sense of who they were/are beyond just the physical. The overarching goal and educational goal of the project is to build upon previous ceramics skills developed in a previous ISRG around ceramic hand building. This project will focus on strengthening modeling skills. Research will have to be done into best bust making practices.
Due to the current Pandemic and since the busts will be made in Arizona the audience for the physical busts will be rather small. The digital audience will be larger and consist of mainly peers and those at Olin College. The audience the busts will geared toward will be those in Generation Z since these individuals are the one I most hope to impact. The intended impact of this project is to highlight individuals who can bring hope and inspiration to people during this difficult time in history. The audience should walk away reminded that if we are determined and lead with love we can make a difference. Personally, this project will help me use my hands to express how I feel about the future and keep me hopeful.
Having had the opportunity to spend significant periods of time growing up in two different countries, and thus immersed in two distinct cultures, I find that I do not completely identify with either culture, but rather that I have a relationship with a blend of the cultures. Whether I am in the US or in Taiwan, I do not fully fit in culturally. This is especially pronounced when people around me point out particular observations about my behavior, appearance, habits, or other such characteristics. Depending on where I am, different attributes are highlighted – for example, in Taiwan I receive comments about my slightly accented Mandarin or my fluent English, while in the US I am frequently at a loss when my peers make pop cultural references to movies they grew up watching. Because of their interactions with me in a specific environment, people have a specific perception about my cultural identity. I wanted to capture how these viewpoints may be reflected at a surface level, which at times feels constraining, but ultimately do not affect the core of my identity. This exterior projection is represented by the patterned cages I have cast out of bronze.
Throughout history, activities performed by men and women have become so gender specific that the objects people use to perform these tasks have become emblems of gender identity. In the same way that tools and construction came to embody masculinity, sewing and knitting have come to embody femininity and women. As a student in engineering, a male-dominated field, I have spent four years enduring shocked looks and confused questions from strangers, friends, and family when I tell them what I study. I was introduced to crafts like sewing and knitting as a young girl and have created many things with them. As an engineer I have used wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers to create. This piece explores the juxtaposition of these feminine hand crafts with common tools that are typically emblems of masculinity.