30 Days of Shoegazing
30 Gifs (4 min 31 sec)
Sheila Robinson Memorial Drawing Award, winner
World of Illustration Award, longlisted
Introversion and shyness are gifts, embracing them is a skill to learn.
We can tell our stories in ways that make us stronger,
in ways that soothe the losses, in ways that ease sorrow.
- David Denborough
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
- Emily Dickinson
I grew up in a culture where people avoid talking about so-called 'negative emotions' as much as possible. In this environment, image-making has always been an emotional outlet for me, but in this project, I wanted to explore its impact on myself even further. I designed a therapeutic process that guided me towards deeper meanings of my re-occurring negative feelings that emanate from my shyness and introversion.
'Introversion and shyness are gifts, embracing them is a skill to learn.' is the emblem of the project, which was presented as an installation of 30 Gifs in the RCA grad show in 2019. That opened the sensitive doors of introversion and shyness to a public who, for some minutes, got closer to sense an emotional state that knows no definitions.
To dive with clarity into my negative emotions, I created a three-stage image-making process that took me from protagonist to participant to spectator, which allows me to externalize introverted emotions, encapsulating it in an image and thereby releasing it. Journaling - pencil rubbing my emotions, Refining - reimagining the journaling outcome, and Retelling - short Gifs of the refining. This process forced me away from the reactionary interpretation of my emotions.
I tried to depict a variety of inward introverted and shy feelings that attempt to transcribe subtle emotions into tangible and visually tactile images. This project was self-help therapy for me and it discloses how I, an introverted and shy person, feel in my daily life. I know everyone is different and falls in a different place of the introversion-extraversion spectrum, but I hope this project would still manage to speak for you to some degree.
Documentary film of Shoegaze into at Show RCA 2019, Royal College of Art
Introverts, I hope you will open up your suitcases for other people to see,
because the world needs you and it needs the things you carry.
- Susan Cain