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I’m exploring what loneliness means on Pepperdine’s campus and what it means as a mental state. Loneliness is an interesting mental separation. You are surrounded by people, and yet feel distant. I think that a large part of the pervasiveness of loneliness is due to fake or shallow connections with other people. These ‘shallow’ or ‘fake’ relationships are not specifically anyone's fault. However, fake relationships are a definite problem which arise when one has no support, no deep and personal friends that they can rely on, and then in turn reach out to others. Loneliness occurs when an individual is unable to connect with others, but desperately wants to connect and be social. I struggle with deciding how to show loneliness on Pepperdine’s campus. A real important thing about loneliness, which I want to make apparent, is the difference between loneliness and being alone. I think this contrast could be shown through people on campus. There are constantly people on campus who are sitting alone, doing homework, eating food, taking a nap, checking their phone and so on. But these people are not necessarily lonely just because they are alone. It’s impossible for an outsider to know whether or not a person is lonely; the lonely person has to tell you, otherwise, it is just an assumption. I sketch individuals on campus, in order to show how difficult it is to tell if a person is lonely and how being alone is not necessarily a sign of loneliness. I have a couple of rules I follow.. I paint these individuals in the moment, not from a photo. I think this process is very important; it shows that I am in that moment, and being in the moment is something that deters loneliness and enforces self-awareness. I am able to be a part of each moment and really take in what is going on around me, as much as what is going on around my subject. The other rule was obviously that the subject had to be alone, meaning no interaction with any other people. This rule is essential to the main point of my sketches, namely being alone. The last rule is to stop painting when the subject leaves. A lot of these artworks are ‘incomplete’ which gives me a feeling of emptiness or failure, the art has a lot of imperfections that I cannot touch. But this really adds to the piece and translates feeling that one would have when they are lonely. I also sketch a little in the medium of charcoal, this is to provide me with the opportunity to sketch people who are only around for a moment. It is hard in the watercolor medium to capture students that are not studying or staying in that location for a long period of time, charcoal allows me to draw people who are passing by. This project is provide an insight into loneliness and being alone on campus. These artworks provide no solution for how to end loneliness, but it does provide a foundation to an important conversation.

Fall 2016

Junior Exhibition

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