Artist Profile: Samantha Ernst
A collaboration between Serendip and Painted Bride Art Center,
click to enlarge
Samantha Ernst is currently working toward her BFA at Moore College of Art and Design, which she will receive in May 2009. She uses her artwork to lessen her "eco-footprint" on this earth and to inspire others to think creatively to save resources and reduce the "garbage" that has already accumulated. She can be found romping around the world looking for inspiration and looking through people's trash. "Trash is simply a failure of imagination." -Neil Benson
I'm analyzing my installation: Heightened Awareness in two ways. First of all it talks about consumerism. The materials I've chosen for this piece are any cardboard boxes from food, beer, shoes etc., shopping bags, tags from clothing, pages from books and envelopes from paychecks and bills: all things I have bought, eaten and spent money on many of which are unnecessary to my existence. Most of all, all the materials I've used are 99.9% of the time things that I and every other human being typically throw in the garbage.
The figure coming from the skylight represents the small window in which I can see what's ahead of me. The figure in the center of the room represents me soaring along like there is no consequence and then BAM! Hitting a wall which was visible from the skylight but ignored. The explosive impact is the mess that any life lived without foresight leaves: millions of pieces to clean up, debt, environmental damage, stress, and waste of time, money and resources etc.
I am currently doing my thesis at Moore College of Art and Design along with working. Recently I have taken up a yoga class in my busy schedule. Along with the class I have been reading about the subject as much as I can find time for these days and practicing on my own. This has led me to another understanding of my creation. The figure coming from the skylight still represents the small window of foresight but still jumping in not truly knowing whats ahead. The soaring figure in the center represents the physical body submerged in materialism and attachment, practicing the asanas, heightening the consciousness . The explosive impact on the wall is the destruction of ego and material attachment reached only by extreme dedication. The style of drawing I use is greatly informed by countless hours of blind contour drawing: an exercise in which the artist looks only at the subject and not at the page. When doing blind contours the artists hand never leaves the page because they can not look to place it back, so the drawing is one continuous line. Whenever I draw now if it is not strictly blind contour it is always continuous line and I look at the page intuitively. Continuous line drawing reminds me that everything in life is an effect from something else, to live life with foresight and intention.