Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Portfolio

Reflection Paper

Throughout this school year, a tremendous amount of time and effort was invested into the numerous essays and projects assigned. Now that everything is accomplished, I feel as if there are many areas I have made improvements in while there are still many areas that I need to continue to improve. The assignments included in the portfolio exemplify in some form, many of these criteria.

In terms of reading, I have made improvements in analyzing and being able to evaluate various pieces of literature and connect them to different parts of the text. For instance, Shakespearean texts have always been a great challenge for me because I find them difficult to completely understand the language and to find the symbolic and metaphorical meanings to his words. However, I chose the dialectical journal entry, titled “Notebook Entry-Hamlet,” which was written on the play Hamlet because I feel as if this entry captured various elements and strengthened ideas I developed about previous portions of the text which I was not sure about. This entry focuses on lines spoken by Queen Gertrude in Act I Scene V of the play, in which she directly informs the king and Laertes about the death of Ophelia. As she stands over Ophelia’s grave she says, “Sweets to the sweet, farewell!” (Shakespeare 229) and I immediately took note of the queen’s tone, and wrote in my notebook that an “exclamation point is not fitting for someone who is saying goodbye to a dead person because it implies an elated and joyful tone of voice.” With that, I reread the passage and noticed the stage direction and it too implied that the queen did not care too much about the situation because she was aimlessly throwing the flowers over the grave. After evaluating Queen Gertrude’s words and her actions, I combined them with previous evidence in the text, such as the detailed account she gave about the actual act of Ophelia’s death, and determined that the queen killed Ophelia and was covering the grave to uphold her appearance. This dialectical journal entry shows that I am able to analyze information better by using multiple methods; however, this entry also shows areas that need much improvement. Such as, in developing a stronger thesis, one that captures in great depth my ideas about the passage and is followed by concrete supporting details to give a proper summation of my theory.

Proper analysis of any texts affects my ability to develop a well written essay. A major flaw that I find in my writing many times is a result of improper analysis. Such errors can be seen in a literary analysis, titled “Setting” on the short story, “IND AFF” by Fay Weldon. This essay focuses on Weldon’s use of setting to convey his ideas. This essay was written in the earlier part of the year and I remember that it was difficult to interpret, which affected the essay because I was unable to create an introduction that immediately grabbed the attention of the readers. For instance, I began my paper by writing, “ ‘IND AFF’ by Fay Weldon is a short story that uses its setting to convey the most significant ideas of the story.” Over the years, I have found that I greatly struggle with introductions and if I was able to better analyze the text, I think I would have been able to give a stronger lead into my thesis, rather than an opening line that was quite repetitive. At the same time, I noticed in this paper that the weak opening lines lead to an interesting thesis, one that incorporated information from the story and prior historical knowledge. After rereading this essay, I still feel as if I need to improve my analyzing skills in order to create intriguing opening lines; however, I think that in the end I was able create a surprisingly strong piece based on the information I felt confident in and fully understood.

A strength that I discovered in writing the essay on “IND AFF” by Fay Weldon was that I am able to incorporate textual evidence into the paper with ease. For example I wrote, “Although the student felt as if she was ‘…winning hands down…’(Weldon 202) the unpredicted rain fall leads to a symbolic cleansing idea because Peter’s wife is a swimming coach and although she was nearly half way around the world, it was ‘…raining on his wife, too…’ (202)” This sentence was quite complex with the ideas and evidence I tried to provide, but I think one strength in my writing comes from being able to pick out more than a few pieces of good textual evidence to intertwine with my own words and attempt to present a strong argument.

I also noticed my ability to integrate quotes and textual evident in my research paper on sculptor Antony Gormley, titled “Antony Gormley: Unifying Art and the Human Body.” Gormley’s work is quite complex but I desired to introduce this talented artist in an interesting manner, so I was prompted to integrate a quote that I had seen on numerous occasions into my introduction. The essay began as such: “Contemporary artist, Antony Gormley has redefined the correlation between art and the human body within the last 25 years as he ‘…revitalized the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation’ (Gormley, A. “Antony Gormley”).” I found this quote interesting and a perfect starting point into his background because it expressed his impact on the art community over a broad span of time. I also feel that the quote flows easily with the part of the sentence I composed because they collectively introduce the readers to a new art theory and the quote is so powerful that it could be difficult to understand without short summation of the idea. Integrating quotes and interpreting their meanings are skills that I continued to exemplify as I wrote, “In an interview with E. H. Gombrich, Gormley stated ‘I am interested in discovering principles… I think that underlying my return to the human body is an idea of re-linking art with human survival’ (Hutchinson). Since human survival comes in various forms, everyone will have their own unique interpretation. By leaving every sculpture essentially as a blank canvas, individuals can connect their personal survival stories with any sculpture they are viewing.” (Antony Gormley: Unifying Art) I feel that I evaluated this quote well because I completely saw Gormley’s philosophy play out in several of his pieces so I was able to visualize his sculptures simply as a guide for people to use as a way to understanding their own experiences.

I have also grown tremendously in my abilities to understand literature and apply it in a way that allows me to compose an original creative piece. I wrote a poem based on the book, “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad and this assignment was unique because the book was difficult to understand, however, I wrote the poem based on a particular theme or character in each of the three sections of the book. The first section, titled “Hunters of Darkness”, captures the overall scene of the book in the lines: “The sea of Thames, was the beginning, of emptiness. Deadly danger, the possibility, of a sudden onslaught, was of sight, somewhere in Africa.” These lines show my attention to detail and an arrangement of words and phrases from multiple pages that collectively express a clear idea. The second section titled “Civilized Man” focuses on the main character Marlow and his growth throughout the journey, which is captured in the lines “Marlow…prejudice, no doubt…but [he] had passion, for exploration…[he] admits [his] behaviour, was inexcusable.” I commend myself for arranging the entire poem so that it showed the growth Marlow under went from his original drastic beliefs to appreciating the journey because it gave him the opportunity to learn to accept others, regardless of their diverse backgrounds.
This year has been full of various assignments and it is difficult to evaluate my progress, but I think I have made major improvements in both areas of reading and writing. My biggest improvement has come about in being more aware as to how certain elements of a novel relate to the overarching themes of the book. This leads to better essay writing because I am able to create stronger assertions and provide concrete evidence. Still, although I feel that I have shown growth throughout the year, there are still areas that I need to improve upon in order to strengthen my future reading and writing abilities.

Creative Piece

Hunters of Darkness

Ogni uomo é il suo capo nemico. Anacharsis

The air was dark.
Peculiar blackness.
The sea of Thames, was
the beginning, of emptiness.
Deadly danger and
a sudden onslaught,
was of sight
somewhere, in Africa.
Death in the air, of this region,
of subtle horror. We were man enough,
to face the darkness.

Civilized Man

Imparare il significato di quanto lei dice, e poi prendere la parola. Epictetus

Marlow was not typical.
Prejudice, no doubt.
Resenting the sight of, dark–faced,
red-eyed devils.
Unwholesome simple people,
chain-gang pilgrims, and
something ominous in the atmosphere.
Marlow was uneasy.
The whites, of course
greatly discomposed, by the savage.
But, I had a passion, for exploration,
and other places. I admit my behaviour,
was inexcusable.

Powers of Darkness

Speranza di malati guadagno è l'inizio della perdita. Democritus

He had the power,
to charm rudimentary souls.
Envy and devotion, to Kurtz
was endless.
An audience, his ability to talk,
and sense of real presence.
But the darkly menacing, Ivory hunt,
and many powers, of darkness,
claimed him, for their own.
Through two illnesses,
Kurtz is dead.
He won’t be forgotten.

Research Paper

Antony Gormley: Unifying Art and the Human Body

Contemporary artist, Antony Gormley, has redefined the correlation between art and the human body within the last 25 years as he “…revitalized the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation” (Gormley, A. “Antony Gormley”). Born on August 30, 1950 in London, England, Gormley was raised in a wealthy household as one of six children. He has always been an academically driven student with initial schooling at Ampleforth College and continuing to Trinity College, where he received a degree in Archaeology, Anthropology and the History of Art during the years of 1968 and 1971. Gormley’s true passion for art initiated after spending three years traveling around India and Sri Lanka where he had the pleasure of studying the ancient teachings of Buddhism. With his new found love for art, he returned to London and attended Central School of Art and Goldsmith's College. He then transferred to Slade School of Art where he completed a postgraduate course in Sculpture between the years of 1977 and 1979.
Art historians believe his work “has revivified the way in which the human form is appropriated” since numerous pieces of his artwork are molds taken of his own body form (Gormley, A. “Antony Gormley”). Many critics, such as Susan Hubbard were skeptical of his views when he first entered the art industry because she thought he was an unserious artist while others thought his desires to only use his body as the center of his creations would cause his sculptures to be unrelatable. Gormley stood by his beliefs and felt that since“…the closest experience of matter that [he] will ever have and the only part of the material world that [he] [lives] inside” is his own body; he felt his beliefs were more than adequate (“Antony Gormley Biography”). Gormley strongly feels that because his sculptures lack any trace of physical identity, such as facial expressions, viewers are able to gain a profound connection between themselves and the sculptures by envisioning themselves in the mind of the sculpture and in turn becoming the person enduring the struggles or actions of the sculpture. In an interview with E. H. Gombrich, Gormley stated “I am interested in discovering principles… I think that underlying my return to the human body is an idea of re-linking art with human survival” (Hutchinson). Since human survival comes in all different forms and depending on the viewer, everyone will have a different interpretation. By leaving every sculpture essentially as a blank canvas, individuals are able to connect their personal survival stories with any sculpture they are viewing.
With Gormley’s inspiration originating from modernist theories and non - western religious studies, he has been able to use his fascination with the Buddhism religion to formulate the idea of “body-as-space” and “space-as-mass” to understand the central belief of unifying body, mind, and space (Gregory). Gormley touches upon all of those beliefs with the creation of five phenomenal pieces: Waste Man, Event Horizon, Quantum Cloud, Still Falling, and Present Time. With these pieces and numerous others, Gormley has not only transformed England but the modern views of an artist. By placing his artwork in specific areas around London, his sculptures have progressively become a part of the natural environment. His desire to use his body as the basis of his sculptures has resultantly given viewers the freedom to envision themselves as a part of the artwork because the sculptures do not physically identify with any particular individual. With his ambitions of gathering a community together in order to create his pieces, he has highlighted his aspirations of revamping and strengthening the unity within a community and individuals with their body, mind, and space.
The first piece titled “Waste Man” boldly embodied many of Antony Gormley’s theories. The sculpture was built during the summer of 2006 and it stood approximately 63 feet tall, 15.09 feet in length and 8.86 feet in width on the rocky surface of Margate, UK. Although “Waste Man” was built in a poorer section of Margate, the site alone brings many of the locals an abundance of joy because it was built near a well known area called, Funfair a place that reminded many of the locals of an exciting time during their childhood. The joyful memories from this site possibly prompted Gormley to gather the locals to build the artwork but he essentially expanded upon that idea by convincing the members of the community to donate materials from their homes to build “Waste Man.” He also encouraged a disposal service company called Thante, to aid in the entire construction process. In total, they were able to collect thirty tons of waste and they eagerly began this massive project.
The beginning stages of the six week project involved the entire base of the sculpture to be built out of what appeared to be long wooden planks. They were generally constructed vertically or horizontally, especially in the hip area, which apparently needed to be extremely sturdy because it is the only portion of the body that has consecutive rows of wooden boards aligned horizontally. The boards are arranged with large gaps in between one another to accommodate for the later installation of the household appliances. Cranes lifted the construction workers to the upper half of the body in order to construct the abdomen, head, and neck. The only round structure on the body was the head, which was supported by an arrangement of a few tiny boards that later resembled the neck. The shoulders and arms were shaped in the form of cylinders and interestingly enough, one arm was raised in the air as if the sculpture was waving to the people below (Spicer). The palms of the hands appear rectangular shaped and to be made of a flat object, possible a picture frame and the fingers are made of long, pole like objects. There are four fingers and there does not appear to be a thumb on either hand. Continuing down the body, one would find a huge rectangular shaped opening in the middle of the body, and in relation to a human body; this area would be close to the heart and the upper portion of the abdomen. After laying down the frame of the body, the workers went back and filled all of the previous spaces between the boards with thousands of various colorful household appliances, such as pink toilet seats, picture frames, chairs, ladders, and even wooden doors.
After “Waste Man” was constructed, some referred to it as the Penny Woolcock’s Margate Exodus, a retelling of the biblical story of the enslavement of Jewish people. Penny Woolcock felt the piece represented the image of a burning bush that gave Mosses his mission to free the slaves, many locals thought it symbolized those “…who had been dispossessed or refused a place, standing up defiantly to be recognized” (Kittelmann, U. “Total Strangers.” Antony Gormley). By creating this piece, Gormley was able to visually convey the message that everyone deserved to have a voice in their community, regardless of their financial status. Not too long after these revelations were made, hundreds of people from the town gathered to watch the burning of “Waste Man.” As this slow process started, black smoke first engulfed the body as yellow and orange colored flames crept up the body’s sides. Many of the household materials began to fly off of the body, leaving behind gaping holes and the original wooden planks. The head and neck were the first of the major body parts to completely burn of, followed by both arms dwindling down to the body’s sides and the legs appearing to be extremely skinny because the outer planks had fallen off. The rectangular opening near the heart was the second to last remaining part of the body before that too burned off and the only visible structure left was the framework of the legs. After thirty-two minutes, “Waste Man” was completely demolished and as the locals stood in awe, it became apparent that “Waste Man” was a perfect representation of that section of Margate because it showed that even through the most strenuous obstacles, the core of any community – the people – are able to withstand anything as long as they are united.
The second piece from this collection that made a lasting impact on a particular community is called “Event Horizon” and it drastically changed the city of London after it was unveiled during May of 2007. This piece became notorious for its magnitude and the fact that it was not simply one sculpture but thirty-one life-sized bronze male figures placed in strategic locations around the city. To the amazement of many Londoners, they saw numerous sculptures placed on the roof tops of some of the most prominent buildings in London, all overlooking the city’s horizon. Gormley’s motives in the creation of this piece, was to promote his upcoming exhibit, “Blind Light,” he also wanted to make a major impact on the locals and with all of the sculptures placed in areas ranging from the Shell Centre to King’s College, he made sure all of the sculptures were pointing in the direction of the exhibit’s location, the Hayward Gallery (Vidler and Mitchell). Seeing as how the majority of Gormley’s sculptures are modeled off of his own body and they strongly uphold Gormley’s philosophies of stripping away any trace of physical identity, the locations of these thirty-one sculptures holds the true significance behind the artwork.
One of these places includes the Waterloo Bridge and the sculpture stands at the northern tip of the bridge. The bridge is important because it was the first bridge ever constructed at this site and it was given its name after the British were victorious in the Battle of Waterloo during 1815. Numerous photographs taken of the sculpture portray it standing on the corner of the Waterloo Bridge amidst fast movements represented by an array of flashing colors from the abundance of cars and people that pass by the bridge on a daily basis. This effect is crucial to Gormley’s reasonings as to why he chose to place the sculpture at this particular bridge because the rapid movements emphasize how people constantly move from one place to another and fail to take the time to appreciate the historical importance of the bridge. Gormley believes that if something noticeable is placed near the bridge, people would eventually stop to appreciate such subtle important aspects of the bridge. This goal was accomplished because many tourists are currently seen either taking pictures with the sculpture or simply viewing the magnificent creations.
Another sculpture is placed on the rooftop of a building that is close in proximity to the London Eye. Being the biggest Ferris Wheel in all of Europe, it has become one of London’s most popular tourist attractions with nearly three million people visiting the site each year. Gormley’s decision to place the statue on top of a building close to this attraction was a key move because the people on the ride are given the opportunity to see the entire city. The significance of this site is similar to that of the Waterloo Bridge in the sense that such an unusual statue stands in an unlikely place, which causes people at the very least to take note of such abnormalities, however, this site is also unique because unlike the bridge, people do not have the ability to move at their own fast pace. The wheel moves at a slow pace so that everyone can have the opportunity to notice everything the city has to offer. Both of these locations and the twenty-nine others, allow the viewers to understand Gormley’s of a sculpture being “…a direct way of allowing the mind to dwell in matter” because without displaying these sculptures, many would never decide to slow down and genuinely consider the subtle and historical beauties of London (Crags 156). Although once Gormley’s exhibit of “Blind Light” ended all of the sculptures had to be removed, Gormley’s courageous initiative of adding something unique and creative to the city by placing unordinary sculptures in unusual locations resultantly broaden the horizons of many because they finally enjoyed and fully appreciated the finer aspects of the city.
The third piece in this collection introduces one of Gormley’s most highly valued beliefs in the ancient teachings of Buddhism. After traveling to India and Sri Lanka during the early 1970’s to study Buddhism, many of those teachings can be seen throughout much of his work. Such as in the piece titled, “Quantum Cloud”, which was erected in 1999 just in time for the opening of the Millennium Dome. This is Gormley’s tallest piece of art, standing approximately 98.43 feet tall on a platform stationed on the Thames River. Gormley comments on how he “…purposefully left the decision of whether this piece is abstract or the representational” up to the viewers (Vidler, and Mitchell 270). With that, the viewers can see that the piece stands at the center of the plank, and if they look closely enough, they can see a human figure standing up straight, with its arms and hands tight at their sides, in the middle of the cloud. The figure can be seen because this portion of the cloud is a lot darker and the metal nails are closer in proximity. The surrounding cloud is formed by steel nails that are 1.5 meters in length and as one moves farther away from the center of the cloud, the nails become more scattered and almost appear to form the shape of daggers. The base of the cloud is rounded, which allows the statue to firmly stand on the plank. The cloud appears to be a silver color, while the figure is a darker gray color.
When trying to understand the complex meaning of this particular sculpture, it is necessary to understand Gormley’s strong beliefs in Buddhism, which originated from a man known as Buddha who investigated his mind and eventually obtained a spiritual awakening, which is the understanding of one’s real nature. In Buddhism, it is commonly believed that human beings are unhappy because they do not understand their own real identity or potential because from birth, people are taught who they are, how to act, and what to think (“Antony Gormley.” Double Take). In an interview with E. H. Gombrich, Gormley said, “I hope that my art tries to deal with big questions like who are we... where are we going…” and he is able to do just that through many of his pieces because he constantly challenges the viewers to question their existence by giving them the freedom to interpret his work in a way that will be most significant to that particular individual (Hutchinson 240). In terms of “Quantum Cloud,” Gormley would most likely interpret this piece based on the Tibetan Buddhist beliefs, which originated from India and is the location in which he studied Buddhism. Also, this specific practice heavily focuses on meditation and the idea of body, mind, and space uniting as one.
Gormley desires to “…make concrete the life that goes on within the head” and to prevent the mind and body from becoming detached ( Brenson). This can be accomplished through the first practice of meditation, which is concentration. Concentration involves visualizing certain processes in the body, and in terms of “Quantum Cloud,” this process would involve the flow of energy. Gormley focuses on the body and its interaction with the surrounding space by showing the outer steel rods surrounding the body in a scattered motion, which represents all of the chaos surrounding the figure. Gormley also expresses how the figure can easily become consumed with the surrounding chaos, however, through mediation the figure is able to find peace within itself and is able to stay calm, which is indicated by the figure’s still posture. Just as the figure is at the center of the cloud and the chaos, the figure was able to center itself and find inner tranquility that would block out the outer commotion.
The second practice of achieving complete meditation is mindfulness, which occurs when the mind observes itself conducting some sort of activity and takes note of the outer occurrences; however, the person does not allow himself to become distracted by the outer influences. In terms of “Quantum Cloud,” the figure’s activity would be viewed as standing in meditation and metaphorically the outer influences are represented by the scattered nails surrounding the figure. Based on the body’s still form, it is clear that the figure is meditating and has centered its mind enough so that the outer commotion does not affect him. The sculpture is also surrounded mainly by water and the quiet surroundings allude to the idea that Gormley chose this setting so that the sculpture’s mind has something to concentrate all of its thoughts on, which will make it even more difficult to become distracted by the outer most nails. Gormley emphasizes focusing on something serene such as water in order to bring about peaceful, calming thoughts. In an interview with Udo Kittelmann, Gormley said he wanted to recognize “…the internal condition of this space …and in some possible way to expose that space…” and in effect, he is trying to view the space within the body and portray it to the world through his sculptures by depicting the interactions of the inner body’s space with outer space, such as daily occurrences (Kittelmann, U.“Total Strangers.” Extracts from interview). Simultaneously, he wants to emphasize how the body is able to properly cope with various forms of frustration by centering the body and mind with mediation.
The fourth piece in this collection is titled, “Still Falling” and it is one of Gormley’s earlier pieces of artwork that was constructed during 1983. This piece is significant for many difference reasons, one of which begins with the piece’s location, Tout Quarry Sculpture Park, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. This park is unique because it was specially created for artists and sculptors to design their innovative pieces on the walls, which eventually changed the city of London by improving the city’s physical appearance. Gormley’s ideas for this piece, keeping in mind his passion for Buddhist theories, thrived by the fact that the park itself was created by both man and nature. The park was formed through natural processes but was eventually revamped through the aid of mankind and numerous sculptors like Gormley who wanted to improve the perception of London.
From afar, one may look at this piece and only see brown and white colored granite and a hilly, rocky cliff. However, if one were to continue looking at the cliff, one would begin to notice the figure of a human body descending down the side of the cliff. The figure is falling head first and it appears as if the figure is facing towards the cliff rather than towards the open air. Gormley was able to avoid the addition of facial features, a technique that he used throughout many creations of his artwork. The figure seems to be gliding rather than falling down the cliff because its hands are gently placed at its sides. The feeling of being at peace with this downward motion is represented by the arms’ stillness instead of frantic flares because the figure is falling into rocky areas (Gormley, A. Malmo Konsthall). The Tibetan Buddhist ideals seem to be relevant in this piece as well because the figure is mindful of its surroundings, and at the same time, submerged in meditation that has allowed the figure to focus on the beautiful surrounding green leaves and trees rather than the rocky and sharp pit below. Gormley seems to express how the figure is allowing its body to gently become a part of nature and seeing as how the area in which the piece is carved into appears deeper than the surrounding area, this implies that nature is graciously welcoming the figure into its new surroundings. The figure is so small and the arms are so close to the body that it almost looks like an angel or some other serene figure. The area is lighter around the figure and this could symbolize a light of acceptance shining on the figure and the blossoming purple flowers indicate a peaceful environment. Although the viewers know realistically the figure will not hit the bottom of the cliff, the beautiful setting, the deep mediation the figure has fallen into and the title of the piece, forces the viewers to feel as if the figure will never hit rock bottom because nature continues to welcome all. By concentrating on nature and by maintaining mindfulness, the figure will not allow itself to become consumed with the idea of hitting the bottom and will forever freely fall into nature.
“Still Falling,” also strongly embodies Gormley’s overwhelming desires to gather together a community of people in order to construct his artwork because this difficult piece definitely required tremendous efforts on the behalf of an entire team of workers to complete the task. The initial chiseling of the cliff was a laborious task because the men did not use any form of advanced technology. They used blocks and wedges. Gormley understands the great lengths the workers went to in order to finish the project and yet, he strongly feels that situations such as those bring community members together and force them to work through any differences they may have, while creating something that is bigger than each individual. Gormley’s team and teachings also shows that when approaching such a gigantic task, one has to “…consider the material as part of the place; as part of the earth. The joy of this project at Tout is that this very special place provides the inspiration, the material, the studio and the exhibition space” (“Antony Gormley- Still Falling”). Gormley calls attention to the fact that nature is a blank canvas waiting for people to work with it rather than against it, with the intensions of molding it into something that is original, and portrays a positively impacting display for everyone in the community to view.
The fifth and final piece of this collection is titled, “Present Time,” which was constructed during 1986 to 1989. Unlike many of Gormley’s pieces that are on display in an open area of either London or any of its neighboring cities, “Present Time” is visually impacting and the full meaning behind this piece leads to an even greater appreciation for the artwork. Located in the National Galleries of Scotland in the city of London, this sculpture stands 11.15 feet tall 6.33 feet in length and 1.15 feet in width. It is composed of medium lead fiber glass plaster and air. The light brown coloring and a hint of gray are just the subtle factors that cause this piece to be eye-catching. Most noticeably, there are two figures, both representing the shape of a human body, placed on top of one another. The upper half of the body is upside down with its legs outstretched, spread apart from one another and its feet flat. There is a vertical yellow line that extends down the midline of the upper body and continues to run downward toward the feet of the lower body. This line is horizontally bisected by two arms that are outstretched, with one yellow line extending from the left hand and stretching across the figure’s chest to conclude at the right hand. The figure’s palms are slightly cuffed and its fingers and thumbs are all tightly joined. Continuing down the figure, it is clear that the two bodies are adjoined at the neck and the lower half is planted firmly on the floor. The body seems to be shaped in the form of a mummy with its arms and hands stiffly by its sides and legs close together. There is no separation between the arms and the sides of the body and there is no separation between the legs. There are also yellow lines that run horizontally from the right side of the body to the left side and these lines are only seen on the lower half of the figure (Jay).
At first glance, this piece is clearly striking and intriguing; however, a viewer needs to understand how Gormley connects Tibetan Buddhists beliefs to his artwork, in order to truly understand this particular piece. On the surface, a viewer can see how the lower half expresses the idea of being confined judging by the body’s tightly wrapped form and its body parts clenched together. The lower half also evokes feelings of imprisonment. With the upper half portrayed with both legs and arms outstretched, the viewers understand the belief that this portion is free. The Buddhist religious values play a crucial role as one sees how the upper half is concentrated on the figure’s spiritual or mental state, while the lower half represents the body’s physical state. Ironically, both of these states are connected but yet divided (Jay). The upper half of the figure allows itself to connect with its surrounding space by spreading its arms and legs, by feeling what space and air are like. The lower half, however, appears to be timid and even afraid of interacting with its surroundings and resultantly is secluded from the rest of the world. The yellow lines are also important to the figure’s meaning because they divide the body so that the viewers are able to see how the figure is affected when it is confided in comparison to when it is free. The lines on the upper half of the figure are more outstretched and farther apart, as if they have room to do things that are specific to each one. Whereas the lines on the lower half are closer together and as the viewer’s eyes descend down the body, the lines become smaller as if there is less room to explore the surrounding space. The figure portrays the idea that although one may try to unify their body, mind, and space, it can continue to be divided and essentially trapped from true freedom and expression if one does not completely and fully submit to the teachings of mediation, concentration, and mindfulness.
“…The body is the place where emotions are most directly registered..” says Gormley, which lead Courtesy Jay to see Gormley’s work of “Present Time” as the upper half representing the mind and the lower half representing the physical (Kittelmann, U. “Total Strangers.” Extracts from interview). This widely believed concept lead to speculation that a person genuinely has to succumb to mediation and the acceptance of oneself becoming connected with nature and space both mentally and physically if he truly desires to find his center amongst daily chaos. If a person chooses otherwise, he will end up like the sculpture of “Present Time,” where he mentally believes in such practices but continues to physically restrict himself from everlasting unity.
In an article by Michael Brenson, he comments on how “Gormley purposefully does not add facial expressions or emotions to the statues because it would take away from the one, unifying emotion or movement Gormley tries to capture in the statute” and Gormley does uphold this value because his body is the only body form he knows best and is most comfortable portraying (Brenson). By Gormley never trying to display his own identity through his sculptures, he powerfully wanted to portray the idea that everyone can find a center between matter and their own body, simply through their personal experiences. The use of his body is “…not [for] self-expression” but rather a way to teach those who have not had the opportunity to have a firsthand experience with Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka to receive the information he learned (Hutchinson 234). Through research of the early teachings of Buddhism, the master Gautama Sakyamuni, was represented by an empty throne while he spread his beliefs to many, and Gormley does just that because although he uses his body shape to present these beliefs, he uses it as a way to guide his viewers through their enlightening experience. In addition to emphasizing his strong beliefs in unifying the human body with space, he also values the importance in bringing together a community through the introduction of a new art form. His sculptures have evolved into a lively addition of numerous communities’ natural environment and he strongly believes that without meditation and the expression of Tibetan Buddhist practices in many of his sculpture, people would allow their body and mind to become disconnected from the serenity of nature and hinder the process of obtaining a united solid body form.

Notebook Entry


Queen: [Scattering flowers.] Sweets to the sweet, farewell! I hop’d thou shoudst have been my Hamlet’s wife. I thought thy bridebed to have decked sweet maid, and not have strew’d thy grave.

The queen has proven thus far to be a very suspicious character. This passage reiterates my original thought that the queen killed Ophelia because of her nonchalant attitude in these few lines. For instance, the queen begins by saying she thought she would be putting flowers outside for Hamlet and Ophelia’s wedding, but due to recent occurrences, Gertrude notes (in a joking tone) that she is instead throwing flowers on Ophelia’s grave. To me, this is not the type of comment she would make if she was truly sad about the loss of Ophelia, her son’s supposed true lover. In addition, Gertrude says “farewell!” and an exclamation point is not fitting for someone who is saying goodbye to a dead person because it implies an elated and joyful tone of voice. I also noticed the stage direction of “[scattering flowers]” and it indicates that she was carelessly throwing the flowers on her grave rather than taking the initiative to gently place them down. In all, I feel that Shakespeare would have used more descriptive words to express the queen’s emotions of genuine sorrow for her son’s loss if she would truly upset, such as he did when the queen presented Hamlet with intricate details of the site where Ophelia’s dead body laid. In fact, the queen’s words were so descriptive; I feel that she could have only given such a detailed account if she was at the site where Ophelia died, possible while Ophelia was dying.

Literary Analysis

Setting

“IND AFF” by Fay Weldon, is a short story that uses its setting, to convey the most significant ideas of the story. Throughout the text, the historical events of the assignation of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are intertwined with the events of the story in order to establish a basis for why the narrator and her lover should no longer continue to pursue their untraditional relationship. The narration is told from a women’s perspective that adds to the significance of the story because during mid 1900’s, a woman’s thoughts, ideas, and presence were not valued as equally as that of a man’s, which prevails as the readers are constantly reminded that the archduchess was also included in the gruesome events of the summer of 1914 and that she should not be forgotten. As the narrator embarks on this journey, she ultimately gains a better understanding of herself and more importantly the actions of her consequences, especially when her true motivations to pursue this relationship did not blossom out of pure love.
The story begins during an unexpectedly rainy and miserable day in Sarajevo. The city once used to be a ‘…pretty town, Balkan style, mountain-rimmed…” (201) alluding to the idea that the town of Sarajevo is enclosed and protected by its surroundings. Once the rain began to fall, the people were “…sheltered from the rain in an ancient mosque in Serbian Belgrade; … now …[they]… spent a couple of days in Sarajevo beneath other people’s umbrellas,” (202) however, the readers come to discover that the rainfall is not one that just holds value for being a change in climate, but an idea that connects to the overarching conflict of the story. Professor Peter and his student, embark on this journey to explore a different area and spend time together, however, it later becomes apparent that Professor Peter’s sole ambitions for this trip was to decide “…between his wife and …[his mistress]… as his permanent life partner” (202) Although the student felt as if she was “…winning hands down…” (202) the unpredicted rain fall, lead to a symbolic cleansing idea because Peter’s wife, is a swimming coach and although she was nearly half way around the world, it was “…raining on his wife, too…” (202) The affects of the rain on Peter, his lover, and his wife leads to an idea of a cleansing process because Peter’s lover begins to believe that their relationship may not be as worthwhile as she thought once before. As the rain continues to fall, the narrator comments on how she smells chlorine on Peters forehead after she kisses him and this “… may have come from thinking about his wife so much…” (206) and the idea that the memory of Peter’s wife will always stay with him, even if he chooses in the end to have a relationship with the narrator. The readers begin to understand that there will always be this eerie sense of rain or dampness in their relationship if Peter chooses to stay with his lover.
All throughout the text, the narrator and Peter discuss the assignation of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, because this event took place in the town of which Peter and his lover were vacationing in at the time. However, on numerous occasions, the readers are reminded not to forget “…his wife…” (202) and that “…everyone forgets his wife, the archduchess,” (202) but this constant reminder of the archduchess leads to the idea of not forgetting about Peter’s wife either and regardless of how pleasant Peter and his lover’s relationship may appear, for the time being, he is still married. Although they felt this “…inordinate affection…” (204) for one another, Peter comments on how “… your Ind Aff is my wife’s sorrow…” (204) and if he chooses to stay with his lover, they will be ending a marriage of over twenty years. The idea of not forgetting one’s wife is also important because it forces them to think not only of themselves, but of Peter’s wife and three kids, and how his new relationship will ruin his family.
Due to the continued rainfall, Peter and his lover are stricken to eating in a restaurant, opposed to a private area where they usually ate and enjoyed other things. While they were waiting to be served, two waiters stood off in the distance and one of the waiters caught the narrator’s attention. One waiter was “…young and handsome…[with] … luxuriant black hair…” (206) and the second waiter, a visibly older man, looked upon the narrator with a pensively because “in a world which for once, after centuries of savagery, was finally full of young men, unslaughtered, what was …[she]…doing with this man with thinning hair.” (206) Once again, it appears that the narrator is having a revelation and she know realizes that she has many opportunities to be in a relationship with a younger, more attractive man, but yet, she is stuck in an “…old professor-student romance…” (202) This situation that the narrator now finds herself in, is interesting because it appears to connect with an earlier occasion in the story that dealt with Princip, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassin. Although Princip had tried on two previous occasions to murder the duke, before actually killing him, it was not until after his second attempt that he was jailed, but for many years, people wondered why he had attempted on various occasions to kill the duke. It was not until after he died that the only explanation people gave was that Princip, “…[died]… for the love of a country” (204) However, it is wondered if Princip made the right decision in dying at such as young age, just for his country. With that idea, the narrator begins to see herself and wonder if being with a man who is forty six and her, twenty five, as a worthwhile relationship. Especially since she has the opportunity to be with younger men and her confusion of a “…mere passing academic ambition with love,…” (206) while trying to “…outdo …[her]… sister Clare.” (206) With that idea in mind, the narrator gets up from the table, and heads home, leaving Peter behind.
Many events, in the short story “IND AFF” by Fay Weldon, such as the rain fall, the surrounding environment, and historical events lead the narrator to believe that the mere idea of academic ambitions and her desire to succeed beyond the limits of her sister were the driving forces behind her ambitions to purse a relationship with a married man. Resultantly, it appears that the narrator realizes this was all a “…silly sad thing to do…” (206) and by the narrator relating her ambitions to that of Princip, she embodied that of an assassin. All along, she was trying to create a war between Peter and his wife that would destroy their marriage, but one should “…never forget the wife… and their children…” (207) because the remnants of their presence will be on the minds of both Peter and the narrator forever, restricting them from ever pursuing a genuine relationship. By the end of the story, the narrator realizes if she had just waited a little longer, and did not allow herself to become so infatuated with academics that she fooled herself into loving her professor, she would have came to her senses a long time ago and realized her spiteful ambitions.

Revision

Antony Gormley: Unifying Art and the Human Body

Contemporary artist, Antony Gormley has redefined the correlation between art and the human body within the last 25 years as he “…revitalized the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation” (Gormley, A. “Antony Gormley”). Born on August 30, 1950 in London, England, Gormley was raised in a wealthy household as one of six children. He has always been an academically driven student with initial schooling at Ampleforth College and continuing to Trinity College, where he received a degree in Archaeology, Anthropology and the History of Art during the years of 1968 and 1971. Gormley’s true passion for art began after spending three years traveling around India and Sri Lanka where he had the pleasure of studying the ancient teachings of Buddhism. With his new found love for art, he returned to London and attended Central School of Art and Goldsmith's College. He then transferred to Slade School of Art where he completed a postgraduate course in Sculpture between 1977 and 1979.
Art historians believe Gormely’s work “has revivified the way in which the human form is appropriated” since numerous pieces of his artwork are molds taken of his own body form (Gormley, A. “Antony Gormley”). Many critics, such as Susan Hubbard, were skeptical of his views when he first entered the art industry because she thought he was an unserious artist while others thought his desire to only use his body as the center of his creations would cause his sculptures to be non-relatable. Gormley stood by his beliefs and felt that since“…the closest experience of matter that [he] will ever have and the only part of the material world that [he] [lives] inside” is his own body; he felt his beliefs were more than adequate (“Antony Gormley Biography”). Gormley strongly feels that because his sculptures lack any trace of physical identity, such as facial expressions, viewers are able to gain a profound connection between themselves and the sculptures by envisioning themselves in the mind of the sculpture and in turn becoming the person enduring the struggles or actions of the sculpture. In an interview with E. H. Gombrich, Gormley stated “I am interested in discovering principles… I think that underlying my return to the human body is an idea of re-linking art with human survival” (Hutchinson). Since human survival comes in various forms, everyone will have their own unique interpretation. By leaving every sculpture essentially as a blank canvas, individuals can connect their personal survival stories with any sculpture they are viewing.
With Gormley’s inspiration originating from modernist theories and non-western religious studies, he has been able to use his fascination with the Buddhism religion to formulate the idea of “body-as-space” and “space-as-mass” to understand the central belief of unifying body, mind, and space (Gregory). Gormley touches upon all of those beliefs with the creation of three phenomenal pieces: Waste Man, Quantum Cloud, and Still Falling. With these pieces and numerous others, Gormley has not only transformed England but the modern views of an artist. By placing his artwork in specific areas around London, his sculptures have progressively become a part of the natural environment. His desire to use his body as the basis of his sculptures has resultantly given viewers the freedom to envision themselves as a part of the artwork because the sculptures do not physically identify with any particular individual. With his ambitions of gathering a community together in order to create his pieces, he has highlighted his aspirations of strengthening the unity within a community and individuals with their body, mind, and space.
The first piece titled “Waste Man” boldly embodied many of Antony Gormley’s theories. The sculpture was built during the summer of 2006 and it stood approximately 63 feet tall, 15.09 feet in length and 8.86 feet in width on the rocky surface of Margate, UK. Although “Waste Man” was built in a poorer section of Margate, the locals’ financial struggles did not deter them from graciously donating materials from their homes to build “Waste Man” because they wanted to assist in this monumental creation. Gormley also encouraged a disposal service company, called Thante, to aid in the entire construction process. In total, they collected thirty tons of waste and they eagerly began this massive project.
The beginning stages of the six week project involved the entire base of the sculpture to be built out of what appeared to be long wooden planks. They were generally constructed vertically or horizontally, especially in the hip area, which apparently needed to be extremely sturdy because it was the only portion of the body that had consecutive rows of wooden boards aligned horizontally. The boards were arranged with large gaps in between one another to accommodate for the later installation of the household appliances. Cranes lifted the construction workers to the upper half of the body in order to construct the abdomen, head, and neck. The only round structure on the body was the head, which was supported by an arrangement of a few tiny boards that later resembled the neck. The shoulders and arms were shaped in the form of cylinders and interestingly enough, one arm was raised in the air as if the sculpture was waving to the people below (Spicer). The palms of the hands appear to be rectangularly shaped, made of a flat object (possibly a picture frame), and with fingers made of long, pole like objects. There were four fingers and there does not appear to be a thumb on either hand. Continuing down the body, one would find a huge rectangular shaped opening in the middle of the body, and in relation to a human body; this area would be close to the heart and the upper portion of the abdomen. After constructing the frame of the body, the workers filled all of the previous spaces between the boards with thousands of various colorful household appliances, such as pink toilet seats, picture frames, chairs, ladders, and even wooden doors.
After “Waste Man” was constructed, some referred to it as the Penny Woolcock’s Margate Exodus, a retelling of the biblical story of the enslavement of Jewish people. Penny Woolcock felt the piece represented the image of a burning bush that gave Mosses his mission to free the slaves, many locals thought it symbolized those “…who had been dispossessed or refused a place, standing up defiantly to be recognized” (Kittelmann, U. “Total Strangers.” Antony Gormley). By creating this piece, Gormley was able to visually convey the message that everyone deserves to have a voice in their community, regardless of their financial status. Tibetan Buddhist beliefs are evident in the theories behind the creation of this piece because it seems to follow the Four Noble Truths, “all of life is suffering; the cause of suffering is desire; the end of desire leads to the end of suffering; and the means to end desire is a path of discipline and meditation.” The many theories behind this piece all incorporate some form of suffering and it is believed that this suffering originates from anger, which the people of Margate feel as they are subjected to living in a poor area. Gormley eventually set “Waste Man” a blaze and as this slow process started, black smoke first engulfed the body then many of the household materials began to fly off of the body, leaving behind gaping holes and the original wooden planks (Heckert). After thirty-two minutes, “Waste Man” was completely demolished, which ended any form of suffering but made it apparent that “Waste Man” was a perfect representation of that section of Margate because it showed that even through the most strenuous obstacles, the core of any community— the people—are able to withstand anything as long as they are united.
The second piece in this collection introduces one of Gormley’s most highly valued beliefs in the ancient teachings of Buddhism. After traveling to India and Sri Lanka during the early 1970’s to study Buddhism, many of those teachings can be seen throughout much of his work. Such as in the piece titled “Quantum Cloud”, which was erected in 1999 and became Gormley’s tallest piece of art, standing approximately 98.43 feet tall on a platform stationed on the Thames River. Gormley comments on how he “…purposefully left the decision of whether this piece is abstract or the representational” up to the viewers (Vidler, and Mitchell 270). With that, the viewers can see that the piece stands at the center of the plank, and if they look closely enough, they can see a human figure standing up straight, with its arms and hands tight at their sides, in the middle of the cloud. The figure can be seen because this portion of the cloud is a lot darker and the metal nails are closer in proximity. The surrounding cloud is formed by steel nails that are 1.5 meters in length and as one moves farther away from the center of the cloud, the nails become more scattered and almost appear to form the shape of daggers. The base of the cloud is rounded, which allows the statue to firmly stand on the plank. The cloud appears to be a silver color, while the figure is a darker gray color.
When trying to understand the complex meaning of this particular sculpture, it is necessary to understand Gormley’s strong beliefs in Buddhism, which originated from a man known as Buddha who investigated his mind and eventually obtained a spiritual awakening, which is the understanding of one’s real nature. In Buddhism, it is commonly believed that human beings are unhappy because they do not understand their own real identity or potential because from birth, people are taught who they are, how to act, and what to think (“Antony Gormley.” Double Take). In an interview with E. H. Gombrich, Gormley said, “I hope that my art tries to deal with big questions like who are we... where are we going…” and he is able to do just that through many of his pieces because he constantly challenges the viewers to question their existence by giving them the freedom to interpret his work in a way that will be most significant to that particular individual (Hutchinson 240). In terms of “Quantum Cloud,” Gormley would most likely interpret this piece based on the Tibetan Buddhist beliefs, which originated from India and is the location in which he studied Buddhism. Also, this specific practice heavily focuses on meditation and the idea of body, mind, and space uniting as one.
Gormley desires to “…make concrete the life that goes on within the head” and to prevent the mind and body from becoming detached ( Brenson). This can be accomplished through the first practice of meditation, which is concentration. Concentration involves visualizing certain processes in the body, and in terms of “Quantum Cloud,” this process would involve the flow of energy. Gormley focuses on the body and its interaction with the surrounding space by showing the outer steel rods surrounding the body in a scattered motion, which represents all of the chaos surrounding the figure. Gormley also expresses how the figure can easily become consumed with the surrounding chaos, however, through mediation the figure is able to find peace within itself and is able to stay calm, which is indicated by the figure’s still posture. Just as the figure is at the center of the cloud and the chaos, the figure was able to center itself and find inner tranquility that would block out the outer commotion.
The second practice of achieving complete meditation is mindfulness, which occurs when the mind observes itself conducting some sort of activity and takes note of the outer occurrences; however, the person does not allow himself to become distracted by the outer influences. In terms of “Quantum Cloud,” the figure’s activity would be viewed as standing in meditation and metaphorically the outer influences are represented by the scattered nails surrounding the figure. Based on the body’s still form, it is clear that the figure is meditating and has centered its mind enough so that the outer commotion does not affect him. The sculpture is also surrounded mainly by water and the quiet surroundings, alluding to the idea that Gormley chose this setting so that the sculpture’s mind has something to concentrate all of its thoughts on, which will make it even more difficult to become distracted by the outer most nails. Gormley appears to emphasize focusing on something serene such as water in order to bring about peaceful, calming thoughts. In an interview with Udo Kittelmann, Gormley said he wanted to recognize “…the internal condition of this space …and in some possible way to expose that space…” and in effect, he is trying to view the space within the body and portray it to the world through his sculptures by depicting the interactions of the inner body’s space with outer space, such as daily occurrences (Kittelmann, U.“Total Strangers.” Extracts from interview). Simultaneously, he wants to emphasize how the body is able to properly cope with various forms of frustration by centering the body and mind with mediation.
The third piece in this collection is titled, “Still Falling” and it is one of Gormley’s earlier pieces of artwork that was constructed during 1983. This piece is significant for many difference reasons, one of which begins with the piece’s location, Tout Quarry Sculpture Park, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. This park is unique because it was specially created for artists and sculptors to design their innovative pieces on the walls, which eventually changed the city of London by improving the city’s physical appearance. Gormley’s ideas for this piece, keeping in mind his passion for Buddhist theories, thrived by the fact that the park itself was created by both man and nature. The park was formed through natural processes but was eventually revamped through the aid of mankind and numerous sculptors like Gormley who wanted to improve the perception of London.
From afar, one may look at this piece and only see brown and white colored granite and a hilly, rocky cliff. However, if one were to continue looking at the cliff, one would begin to notice the figure of a human body descending down the side of the cliff. The figure is falling head first and it appears as if the figure is facing towards the cliff rather than towards the open air. Gormley was able to avoid the addition of facial features, a technique that he used throughout many creations of his artwork. The figure seems to be gliding rather than falling down the cliff because its hands are gently placed at its sides. The feeling of being at peace with this downward motion is represented by the arms’ stillness instead of frantic flares because the figure is falling into rocky areas (Gormley, A. Malmo Konsthall). The Tibetan Buddhist ideals seem to be relevant in this piece as well because the figure is mindful of its surroundings, and at the same time, submerged in meditation that has allowed the figure to focus on the beautiful surrounding green leaves and trees rather than the rocky and sharp pit below. Gormley seems to express how the figure is allowing its body to gently become a part of nature and seeing as how the area in which the piece is carved into appears deeper than the surrounding area, this implies that nature is graciously welcoming the figure into its new surroundings. The figure is so small and the arms are so close to the body that it almost looks like an angel or some other serene figure. The area is lighter around the figure and this could symbolize a light of acceptance shining on the figure and the blossoming purple flowers indicate a peaceful environment. Although the viewers know realistically the figure will not hit the bottom of the cliff, the beautiful setting, the deep mediation the figure has fallen into and the title of the piece, forces the viewers to feel as if the figure will never hit rock bottom because nature continues to welcome all. By concentrating on nature and by maintaining mindfulness, the figure will not allow itself to become consumed with the idea of hitting the bottom and will forever freely fall into nature.
“Still Falling,” also strongly embodies Gormley’s overwhelming desires to gather together a community of people in order to construct his artwork because this difficult piece definitely required tremendous efforts on the behalf of an entire team of workers to complete the task. The initial chiseling of the cliff was a laborious task because the men did not use any form of advanced technology. They used blocks and wedges. Gormley understands the great lengths the workers went to in order to finish the project and yet, he strongly feels that situations such as those bring community members together and force them to work through any differences they may have, while creating something that is bigger than each individual. Gormley’s team and teachings also shows that when approaching such a gigantic task, one has to “…consider the material as part of the place; as part of the earth. The joy of this project at Tout is that this very special place provides the inspiration, the material, the studio and the exhibition space” (“Antony Gormley- Still Falling”). Gormley calls attention to the fact that nature is a blank canvas waiting for people to work with it rather than against it, with the intensions of molding it into something that is original, and portrays a positively impacting display for everyone in the community to view.
In an article by Michael Brenson, Brenson comments on how “Gormley purposefully does not add facial expressions or emotions to the statues because it would take away from the one, unifying emotion or movement Gormley tries to capture in the statute” and Gormley does uphold this value because his body is the only body form he knows best and is most comfortable portraying (Brenson). By Gormley never trying to display his own identity through his sculptures, he powerfully wants to portray the idea that everyone can find a center between matter and their own body, simply through their own personal experiences. The use of his body is “…not [for] self-expression” but rather a way to teach those who have not had the opportunity to have a firsthand experience with Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka to receive the information he learned (Hutchinson 234). Through research of the early teachings of Buddhism, the master Gautama Sakyamuni, was represented by an empty throne while he spread his beliefs to many, and Gormley does just that because although he uses his body shape to present these beliefs, he uses it as a way to guide his viewers through their enlightening experience. In addition to emphasizing his strong beliefs in unifying the human body with space, he also values the importance in bringing together a community through the introduction of a new art form. His sculptures have evolved into a lively addition of numerous communities’ natural environment and he strongly believes that without meditation and the expression of Tibetan Buddhist practices in many of his sculpture, people would allow their body and mind to become disconnected from the serenity of nature and hinder the process of obtaining a united solid body form.

Revision Explained

Amongst the samples I chose to include in my portfolio, is a research paper conducted on sculptor, Antony Gormley. Although countless hours of research were conducted on Gormley’s life and the inspiration behind numerous pieces of his artwork, I decided to revise the paper and take it from fourteen pages to eight pages. This was not an easy task; however, I desired to focus more on the pieces that were greatly influenced by Gormley’s endeavors in the ancient teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. To accomplish this I first took out two pieces titled, “Event Horizon” and “Present Time” because I felt the remaining three sculptures connected better with one another and the Buddhist ideas. The second change came about after I explained in greater detail the connection between Gormley’s piece titled “Waste Man” and the Buddhist teachings because I was able to research more about the religion and I discovered that certain fundamental values of the religion were related to the theories behind his piece. A theory that dealt with suffering, which I felt connected with the pain many of the people who lived in the area where the sculpture was erected endured. Although these two alterations seem minor, all three of the sculptures now deal with some form of the Tibetan Buddhist beliefs and I strongly feel that I was able to make Gormely’s beliefs and motivations clearer in the paper.

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