How have your travels abroad influenced your work?
I know that my travels abroad have influenced me as a person, which in turns influences the work. With that said, I don't know that my work changes according to the different environment that I am. In an earlier post I stated that the place that I'm from, HOME, influences my work; but strangely other environments haven't effected the work. I think its more about how I'm influenced by the things I see and the skills/adaptations to the place. SmallTown, USA doesn't have access to the museums and galleries as other places that I have travelled to.
In undergrad I was blessed with the opportunity to travel abroad twice. The first time I was a sophomore and did a two week trip during winter break with Dr. Juliee Decker as an art history student. We spent one week in London and the other in Dublin. The class topic was about portraiture. It was an amazing experience. I would love to go back to London especially. Being exposed to all the art and museums on that trip was really eye opening for me. I developed an appreciation of many different kinds of art. The Tate Modern was where I fell in love with Mr. Rothko. If you've never seen the Rothko room there, you should! Such an overwhelming, pulsating experience to be surrounded by those large works. It was almost a spiritual experience for me- which was one of Rothko's reasons for his work to begin with.
The next year of college, I spent a semester in Florence, Italy. Now that experience was life changing. I learned a lot about myself and seen some of the worlds most famous works in person. I would spend hours in museums sketching and just being surrounded by the work. While there, I travelled around Italy and to Paris.
How did these trips influence my work? I became aware; aware of how small SmallTown, USA really is and a portion of what the rest of the world consists of. I also grew so much closer to my place of home. I love to travel and see/do new things- but I love home. I appreciate even more, after traveling abroad, my ties to Kentucky, upbringing and values. I become closer to my family and I think became overall more happy with myself. I wouldn't mind living outside of Kentucky for a few years but I know I'll end up back there. I'm also confident in my abilities to adapt to new things and places.
Travels abroad has also taught me to be more free with my work; to not treat it so preciously. Also to more easily try new things with my work. Its exciting to go somewhere new and learn different skills but to bring that skill set back home and try something that I never would have before. However, while abroad I feel like the smallest fish in the sea but the opposite when I get home. It's an interesting complex to consider. It is difficult to be a big fish in the art world to begin with. I think its about attitude and not focusing on being a big or little fish, but just being a fish in the same conversation.
I am a contemporary artist focused on the intersection of art and science in Lexington, KY.