2016 Honorable Mention – Karissa Gawronski

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Science is all around us. It is seen in the paintings and murals lining classes and halls, it resides in the structures of buildings, the design of clothing, and even in the woods and habitats around us. The unadorned human body is certainly a work of art, but people choose to express their interests, personalities, and passions through the tattoos on their skin, through their piercings and jewelry, through the clothes on their body, and the devices with which they surround themselves.

Humans have made great leaps in technology, so much so that the art of simple nature around us may be disappearing. My sculpture represents this evolution and how technology continues to grow, replacing the natural beauty around us.

Various artistic processes took place in order to create the components of my piece. First, a piece of linoleum was carved in order to create the stamp that is seen around the rim of the pot and on some of the leaves protruding from the moss. The print is in the style of Native American prints from the Hopi tribe. The Hopi tribe placed a large importance on nature, utilizing its resources and admiring its beauty. The large plaster hand mold took a few tries to master, as the casting kept tearing when I tried to remove my hand. Finally, I ended up removing the cast in a few pieces and pasting them back together with extra casting material. Finally, I painted and decorated the hand mold with decoupage colored pencil drawings, and “potted” the hand.

Symbolism is evident in several aspects of the piece. The mechanical, inhuman hand “growing” out of the pot represents how technology is taking control of our society, eliminating natural beauty surrounding us. It seems to be crowding the other “natural” plants out of the way and inhibiting their growth. The drawings on the front and back of the hand are placed in their respective locations purposefully. The “natural” bird resting inside of the palm seems to be almost captured by the machine. The back of the hand reinforces the idea of the robot, as it shows the gears operating on the inside. Technology continues to gain an even more important role in daily life, sacrificing other beautiful elements of this world.