As part of my principles of visual communication module, I’ve come up with a series of images for a project themed ‘ESCAPE’, where it aims to bring across the meaning of each sin through a central object in each image, and how each sin aims to provide content though transient.
This series collectively conveys individual strength, resolve, and the immense amount of time taken to either escape from the shackles of sin, and overcome human errors and how persistence sometimes fails in the journey of doing so.
Sometimes we are shackled by the hustle and bustle of our busy everyday lives. We somehow resort to momentary remedies which seems to be the panacea to our problems. Can one seek resolve from stress through ways of escape, or does it just take time?
Interpretation of ESCAPE series of images
All the images shown in this series are placed on a background of crumpled paper which echoes one’s typical reaction to stress, by crushing a paper. I would regard the audience or viewers to be common individuals who are working and under a lot of stress or are extremely busy or facing a tumultuous time in their lives.
The first image shows a baby being pressed on by adult hands, which in my opinion shows the fragility and tenderness of how we inherently are but shifts towards stress due to one’s hectic lifestyle. I played with the overlaying image here to give a foreground-background effect, coupled with texture to show roughness within that same image.
The images that follow are the seven deadly sins; cardinal vices that some turn to inadvertently as a counteracting measure to stress or as an escape.
Sloth is the first sin to be displayed in this series (though the order of the sins do not necessarily matter for this case). With the use of positive and negative space to achieve an overall effect of the sculpture looking away in ignorance. Sloth as a sin could refer to ‘reluctance to work or make an effort or laziness’ but it could also mean the current state of apathy some face today. The ‘I don’t know, I don’t care’ mentality is dangerous especially in today’s modern context and it is hence pertinent for viewers to recognise this as one of seven deadly sins.
Envy is defined as ‘a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck’ which parallels how the corporate world or how capitalism arguably works today: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. To climb the corporate ladder is one’s main goal when one enters the workforce. There is hence little intrinsic satisfaction and this image serves to portray the green eye of envy, and how it can be avoided by seeking the smaller, more subtle things in life.
Wrath ensues when one cannot attain what he/she wants, and refers to ‘extreme anger’. The carefully bled out image here shows a man screaming with fury, and how one turns red with anger at times due to the discontent or stress faced due to personal, work, or family issues.
Gluttony is one sin that most people face which is commonly known as the ‘excess in eating’. This is illustrated with a large man gorging on food in a mustard yellow overlay which signifies how temporary the happiness is for the individual can attain while indulging in gluttony. While this does little harm to one’s personal mores, an excess in anything makes for a desire for excess in other things which then brings about the nature of greed which can be dangerous.
Pride is ‘a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements’ and one who has achieved certain milestones in life may be guilty of this sin and is portrayed using by a single facial structure with underlying tones bled out to show accurately the expression of hubris. One’s ego could potentially get in the way and a prideful individual holds oneself at the highest.
On greed, one could have an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth or power. Many argue that money is the root of all evil: — but I will say that greed is the root of all evil. The self-perceived feeling of not having enough is destructive for one to keep wanting more, to seek happiness when it may already be present. The central object used here for this a pot of gold with a devilish smile depicts a bottomless pot of gold, and how no matter how much one puts in there, it will never be enough.
The seventh sin of lust is common to some and is also known as ‘strong sexual desire’. An image here playing with the negative and positive space along with the colour of desire, red, aims to show how humans are creatures that may lose control. Lustful desires are paralleled to the scantily dressed couple positioned as the central object of the image performing a sexual act, showing possible promiscuity and the lack of self-control.
Finally, the clock is reminiscent of Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, which shows how clocks lose their power in the dream world. Similarly, when one sins, one loses power to the realm of sins, and can only persist should they find resolve, as seen in the last image with a dark eagle on a dark crumpled-paper background. The reason why I chose for the final image to be ‘dark’ is because I was trying to portray a negative feeling of resolve and how individuals must fight the urge to sin.
With persistence, and through time, individuals can (and must) find a resolution for themselves to overcome their own inner demons.