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Junior Conceptual: A Junior Conceptual Project by Emily Cook (2016)

Click to read Artist Statement
I used my Ekphrastic poem ''Policeman'' as inspiration for this piece, specifically the lines ''The two of us are solemn,
still, emotionless,
mere shells of existence—
appearing lifelike, but lacking life''. These lines focus on feeling alienated and alone, along with the feelings that come with depression or anxiety, in particular how the speaker feels less of a person than the people surrounding her due to a lack of interaction and how she feels more like a statue than a person. I wanted to make a picture exemplifying the feeling of standing out while being isolated from the populace.

I used marbles since they could easily demonstrate the differences I was looking for between the subject and the surrounding populace. I used over three dozen orange marbles along with a solitary blue marble and a couple marbles with both orange and blue on them—added to show maybe the subject isn’t as alone as they think they are. I then laid them out on our hardwood floor—an orange like the majority of the marbles—in a formation where there was a large radius of space around the blue marble, to add some literal distance to the piece. I then blacked out the room and placed a fluorescent lamp close to the ground to create long shadows, to add to the overall sad feeling of the picture. I then used Photoshop to make the majority of the image have an orange tint to it and adjusting hue and saturation to everything except for the blue marble, to make it stand out from the rest of the picture even more. The hardest part of the process was definitely trying to come up with ways to edit the image to make the marble stick out, yet keep the overall realistic look of the image. Quite a few of the edits I did at first added a very high orange filter over the whole thing, which made it look like there was an orange filter added—an impression I didn’t want to give to the viewer. To combat this, I simply removed some filters or lowered the opacity to keep the filter, but not make it so intense and obvious.
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