Beth Austin BFA Thesis Spring 2011
Still Looking at Animals: The Real, the Imaginary and In Between
A series of eight mixed media screen prints focused on the complexity of human interaction and fascination with animals throughout history. Using watercolor monotype, screen printing, gouache, and pencil, I am investigating animals as symbols, metaphors and living creatures and the role they play in imagination and curiosity. From cave paintings all the way to Mickey Mouse, animals have become a basic vocabulary of symbols, metaphors, and entertainment. Representations of animals have evolved alongside culture; with varied implications and associations influenced by the changing standards of life and advancement of industry and technology. Living in a generation where science and technology are at the highest degree of separation, where do humans stand in respect to nature? How do our emotional connections and representations of animals in language and art relate to our current means of treatment and protection of animals? Through an exploration of words and symbols I seek to incite questions on how words function in human’s understanding and characterization of the world.