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‘found’ objects

Jessie Rice

This painting explores the traditional genre of still life. For this piece, I intended to challenge the conventional representation of a still life by including unorthodox motifs that speak to my own experience and thoughts on what constitutes beauty. Furthermore, focusing on the remnants of my own lived experience allowed me to investigate the abject concepts in relation to traditional notions of beauty. I researched the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, a concept based on unconventional and transient beauty, which allowed me to see potential in the overlooked and non-esthetic. I see the objects that inhabit this painting as reflecting on mortality in general, and specifically as I contemplate my own body in states of function and non-function. Exploring the abject has allowed me to appreciate the beauty in what many people find to be unappealing or disgusting. Though highly personal, this work allowed me to explore unknown facets of my identity and suggests a poignant memento mori for the 21st-century depiction of Still life painting.