The Wellbeing Competition gave us the opportunity to create a piece/s of work in response to the topic of ‘wellbeing’. These pieces would be put forward into a selection process, where the best outcomes will be showcased in an exhibition. The aim was to promote awareness of mental health, and the help that is available to students.
(laser cut box, metal gold leaf, LED lights, and ceramic lion painted in acrylic)
The ObjectsThe box itself looks boring and mundane, however it’s the glowing gold cracks which lure you in, and make it beautiful. Inspired by the Japanese art of ‘Kintsugi’, the flaws and breakages of the piece are highlighted and seen as part of the history and value of the piece, rather than something to disguise and cover up.
The interior of the box has been gilded with gold, showing that one’s value comes from within. The lion that sits inside shows how even the ‘strongest’ of animals can feel scared, afraid and anxious, (all of which are unexpected emotions to be traditionally associated with a lion). This can be compared to the world that we live in, as society expects certain people to be strong and resilient (e.g men), but actually they are as susceptible to feelings of the opposite.
The lion is inside an enclosure to represent a barrier/comfort zone; anxious and afraid of life beyond the box. However the box is showing signs of deterioration, symbolising that this barrier is being overcome slowly - a sign of progress and hope. These small indications of progress are showcased in gold, conveying their importance and significance.
The ExperienceAnother element to this piece is the emotions that it makes you feel. Firstly, animals are scientifically proven to lower stress and blood pressure levels, and improves your general feelings of happiness.
Furthermore, the surprise of finding something unexpected inside an ‘average looking’ box makes you feel happy too. The act of peering inside something small, to find things smaller than life resonates with things from our childhood (dolls houses etc), this again fills us with joy and nostalgia.
Therefore, not only does this piece convey topics of wellbeing through symbolism, but the emotions you feel in response to it actively improves your wellbeing too.