Beauty in Things Unseen
For my AP Visual Art Concentration, my central idea, “Beauty That Goes Unnoticed,” drew attention to the beauty in the world that is often missed. While developing this concentration, I paid particularly close attention overlooked beauty – first in things, then in people – and new perspectives. As the great poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning once said, “Earth is crammed with heaven.” So much more exists than what immediately meets the eye, and I used my concentration to document that.
I began by bringing out the extraordinary in everyday objects. I first used the contrast between soft tiles and industrial metal to glorify a bathtub (1). Next, I used light reflections – in a bike’s metal body (2) and in ice (3) – to show beauty in the otherwise commonplace.
I then moved towards things in nature that go unnoticed. Tree bark (4), with its intricate folds and detailed textures, was my first example. I enhanced the natural colors both in the bark and the underside of a mushroom (5). Oxidized copper, represented in the penny (6), and fallen leaves are also exquisite but are often disregarded.
The foot stepping past the penny linked objects to people. In the next few pieces, I shifted my focus to under-appreciated individuals. Farmers (7) are not nearly as esteemed today as they have traditionally been. Nor are parents (8) or janitors (9) who help life run smoothly, or teachers who help students after hours (10).
Lastly, I expanded to people that are not fully understood. A blind eye is often turned to individuals without homes (11), and they are mistakenly deemed insignificant. Similarly, elderly people (12) are mistakenly deemed dull, so I brought out their hidden vitality with sprouting plants.