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    Jorja Shadbolt

    In my 2020 works I tried to communicate ideas around life and death, more focused on how I believe the body is only a vessel, which isn’t as important as the person piloting it - what you did in life, your personality, and impact is what matters. Anything flying - like moths, shows this release of the person piloting a body. I also try to communicate how life feeds off death by pairing alive subjects with dead or dying subjects. Mushrooms are very common imagery in my art, because to me they are the biggest symbol of life feeding off death. 

    My art relates to my personal history in colour - I can see my personal growth through my colour choices, changing from weak baby blues & pinks to warm yellows and reds as I took more pride in myself. Yellow quickly became my favourite colour, it's the first colour your eye gets drawn towards in a room, I’ve been trying to be more like yellow.

    The paintings and sculptures I have produced in 2021 are all self portraits in a way - they all communicate how I feel about different relationships, trauma, and how these experiences change me as a person. I see myself in different phases, such as of overwhelming worthlessness, dog-like aggression, or all-encompassing awareness of my own identity. Looking back, the work I have produced this year is helpful not just to myself but to others to help them understand my mindset.

    Over the past four years of high school I think I've had a lot more challenging experiences than most. I was in a pretty dangerous abusive relationship which involved stalking, threats of murder, and very intense manipulation. When I got out of this relationship I was very shaken emotionally and this really escalated my emotional responses, everything that went wrong felt like the end of the world. This aggression however wasn't all bad, because it brought on what I would call an ego explosion, which is how I can love myself so confidently today. I made my art about myself to really wrap up all of these thoughts in a way I can really understand.

    My 2022 artworks have been based around the theme of unfamiliarity, and being witness to change. This fixation was brought on by the fluid, unpredictable nature of my life at age 18. My work started off as a response to a sudden breakup, and the loss of direction that resulted. This response was channelled into my use of pattern, as I started to paint fluid, animal hide-like forms all across my work. This work is about the onset of longing, and the urge for connection in this period of change.

    I am now a design student, and have resolved this year of my life. I am taking my first step into adulthood"

    Works by Jorja Shadbolt