For one of our assignments in first semester we were tasked with creating a triptych (a set of three works that are designed to be displayed together), with a focus on the principles of composition, including balance, proximity, use of positive and negative space, etc. The subject matter was completely open, but we were restricted to using black, white, and one colour only.

It can be so hard sometimes to come up with a creative idea and get started. For this project my mind was stuck on wanting to build a pattern across the three panels, but I couldn't figure out how to make the idea make sense as a set of three. I also wanted to tell a story. It was during a discussion with my teacher, in which I struggled to describe my thinking, and then we both started drawing in order to communicate ideas to each other, that it finally came together. I've always thought of art as being a solitary exercise, but I can't tell you how many times a conversation with another person has helped to unstick an idea and push it along to its next stage.


My final piece, pictured above, is a story of urban growth. The line drawings of buildings not only grow in size to form a city, but also become more detailed and complex to evoke a sense of crowdedness. Finally the wash of blue watercolour paint over the top adds extra weight and mood to the increasing density of the picture. A viewer might see this as a feeling of growing gloom, or maybe industrial pollution. Some might see it as simply the increasing complexity and busy-ness of modern life. Hopefully its meaning is open enough to support a range of responses, but still move the viewer through a story.

You can click on the image above to see a larger version of it in Flickr. The individual works are also pictured below.

Triptych Part 1

Triptych Part 2

Triptych Part 3