Christina Cuthill

Master of Design (Contemporary Art)

Recently the world-wide pandemic has highlighted our focus on mental health awareness and our emotional make-up. By recontextualizing the silhouette, my aim was to create collages and paintings that portray these emotions in abstract form. Utilising the silhouette in my artistic practice, enabled me to focus my narrative on the importance of nature and our natural environment, and to promote the importance of mental health in art.

Redefining people’s perception of the silhouette was an essential part of my master’s research. Aiming to produce contemporary figurative narratives that do not pinpoint ethnicity or socio-economic status was my main objective and for the visual rhetoric to be ambiguous. I concentrated on the interiority rather than the exteriority of my silhouettes, contrary to the traditional trope of the silhouette, substituting the characteristic flat planes of colour.

It was significant for me to engage in my art-based research, and through the experience, maintain my own level of intuition, reflective thoughts, and visual awareness. Although initially I tried to create each individual artwork as a distinct narrative composition, I started to think coherently towards my final collection, in the hope that the work’s narrative and artistic growth throughout the project was clear. This artistic momentum gathered pace towards the final weeks as it took me a certain window of time to visualize my intentions.