The exploration of the self leads to the questioning of perception. Questions surrounding perceptions of one’s identity, are seemingly of a higher order to those of form in the world around us. But this is a fundamental premise which is questioned in the work. Forms are transformed here. Perspectives are altered. The mundane is elevated and the magnificent is manipulated. The hypothesis is that the mechanism for shifting perception may be universal. Perhaps there is no order of magnitude in difficulty. If one can change how they see form within the World, do they not also possess the capacity to change perceptions of self?

Questioning how one is seen, and how one sees themselves, is a shared experience for the displaced, the new, and others. The work uses images from the past and the longed for, but is shaped by the experience of cultivating a new identity in the here and now. It takes what was known, familiar and understood, but recognizes that it can never be seen the same way again. In this sense, it invites the observer to experience the unstable and unsettled perception of the displaced, willing or otherwise. Without the lived experience of processing one’s assimilation, it invites the observer to consider what it feels like to have their sense of self, home and identity profoundly shaken.

The aesthetic nature of the work acknowledges structure, magnitude and beauty. The profundity of one’s culture cannot be glimpsed without magnitude and scale. However, the work brings in images of the mundane and the everyday. They too are integrated. The once overlooked or underappreciated is perhaps seen in a new light. It too has a place in this new perception. It offers hope that nothing need be discarded or thrown away. Nothing need be denied or disowned. All aspects of the self are welcomed and can create a new Gestalt of grace, dignity and beauty.

Mirroring and duplication may also be noticed, in what is perhaps an attempt to replicate the identity of the observed and new. A new identity is not shaped by singular temporal experiences. Rather, it is shaped through a longer time-frame. One’s previous self-perception is challenged again and again by the dominant and all-pervasive milieu. This does not happen instantaneously. It happens over time with seemingly relentless endeavor. It cares little for the readiness of the old self to let go and change in its own time. The old way of seeing is challenged with fervorous repetitively. The process is challenging yet refuses to be ignored or neglected.

In the end, the work remains true to beauty. The process of changing perceptions of form and self is demanding. Yet, it repays consideration. The work is an ode to the journey. The beauty and the truth of both the old and the new are celebrated. The underlying emotional experience is one of gratitude and hope.  

© 2019 Nasrin Golden

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