Ellison Kochensparger Senior Art Thesis 2021

Ellison Kochensparger
Captured George
Polaroids, inkjet prints, and acrylic on canvas

There is a tree out by Wittenberg’s observatory, it is a Flowering Dogwood that the artist decided to name George while working with it. They tend to name nameless art supplies, instruments, animals, or plants they work with. They called the tree George for so long that there was no other name for the project to be called. You could not miss its existence if you tried. This project revolves around this tree and the interactions it has had on occasions with the artist. The idea of the whole project is what you see is what you get. What people notice about the tree daily is what they get. The project started around Polaroids. Polaroids are seen as vintage and can stand alone, yet they were missing something when all placed together. There is only so much a Polaroid can show about a subject and about an artist. It blocks viewers in and contains its own individual frame. Right below the first set are the paintings. They represent the next phase of trying to break out as well as self-expression. It is a chance for the artist as well as the tree to show you the hidden parts, branches, nooks, and crannies that people do not normally pay attention to, yet they are the most captivating parts. They are what makes that tree stand out and have its own personality.

The digital photos are the breaking free point. Everything is arranged in sets of nine by identical groupings to help establish a pattern that contributes to the slight breaking of the rule of thirds. Each section connects to the next. A picture matches a painting and lighting from a photo helps guide viewers’ eyes towards the paintings. Even though the project is centered around Polaroids, the branches still needed room to breathe. The tree has its own glory to it and micro pictures of what it is really like are able to be seen in full view. Yet these are still square, so they are still captured in their own sense. The groupings are not random. Every picture is next to each other and every painting is placed where it is meant to be placed. It helps lead the viewer’s eye all around, into the piece and out of it. Row by row, column by column. The middle section has mismatched photos or so it seems. It contains an element of pattern in an already patterned piece because the pictures of the sun and the moon were always meant to be a part of the final piece. The sun and the moon standing out were not able to be captured with brush or Polaroids and they are the reason the artist kept the digital photos. Maybe you can spot them. Enjoy them if you do.

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