In this project, I was given the task to represent Christina in an art piece. After an interview with her, I was interested in her ideas about community, and how it can ground a person. Christina has been in limbo, while growing up, moving from place to place, continent to continent. This constant moving never gave her a chance to ground herself in one place, and establish trusting relationships with others, and feel a sense of belonging. Through this, I realized the importance of having a home, a community, whether it be a legitimate place, or a more abstract idea. Despite this constant change of scenery, she focused on the relationships she did have, making them stronger, despite any distance. When dealing with divorce at a young age, she was given a choice of how to handle it. She used this as an opportunity to get closer to her parents; build relationships with them as individuals. By doing this she was able to learn to appreciate her father, and create a trusting relationship, that can continue as she now learns to be on her own. I wanted to represent both where she has been, and where she is going. New York is the first place that has been hers. This move was her choice, and she is now allowed to create her own community, one that is dictated by her own ambitions.
In this painting, I chose to represent both who Christina is, as well as what is important in her life. I started with a traditional painting, with pastel colors, as those are ones that she feels represent her. On the outside, she is bright and cheerful, and has a glowing innocence to her. I took this outward glowing appearance and put it on the inside of the piece. I put this smiling portrait of Christina behind a sheet of vellum, that acted as a barricade, something that obscured the viewers perception of her. Over top of this, I embroidered a map of both China and America, the two countries that she has called home. This map connected her from place to place, ending in New York.