Freestyle Academy proudly presents

Junior Conceptual: A Junior Conceptual Project by Patrick Gaffney (2016)

Click to read Artist Statement
Every time I hear the word poems
A chill shoots through my back.
I try to write on the paper,
But the ideas do not flow.
They bounce around in my mind
Like a vase covered in bubble wrap.

This excerpt from my poem shows the effects of the fear of others thinking you are unintelligent. When I write something, such as a poem, I have a fear that it will not be good enough, and will be harshly judged by the readers as they pick it apart. This fear creates a feeling of indecisiveness, which in turn causes my ideas to be ''covered in bubble wrap''. Instead of being able to express my thoughts and feelings, I commonly end up writing something to fill the blank space. This causes an onslaught of empty ideas which only prevent me from thinking clearly. Instead of having a concise point expressed, I am left with meaningless words sprawled out on the paper.

I represent this feeling of indecisiveness through my photograph. My photograph shows a half cooked piece of meat with a knife laying on it. In the corners of the photograph, thick cut pieces of raw meat lay on the white cutting board. The pieces of meat represent my ideas when I write. Instead of being small and easy to chew, they are big and hard to chew. They are uncooked, showing they are unprepared, and cannot be taken in unless they are cut into smaller pieces. The larger piece of meat is half cooked, as if the cook was unable to decide what to do with it. Even though one side has been perfectly cooked, only the raw side has been cut from. This represents how indecisiveness can stop you from seeing what is better, especially when writing. The knife lays abandoned on the raw side of the piece of meat. It still has pieces of meat on its shimmering blade. The knife and the fork are uncleaned and unorganized, as if the person cutting the meat gave up. Most of the trouble I had taking this photograph was caused by lighting. I had to use a single lamp to define my focal point in the image. There were many other sources of light that I had to play around with to get the best shot.
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