April 30, 2019

What is the importance of understanding context?

Rowan Ormiston, 19

The piece explores the narrative of the pomegranate within the myth of Persephone and Demeter. I was interested in the concept of subjectivity and how the repetition of objects throughout mythology and literature has allowed them to develop their own symbolic meanings. That depending on background, upbringing and knowledge, interpretations of art and literature could vary drastically in regard to what they associate certain objects or symbols with.

The pomegranate has a number of strong associations that I was not aware of before researching, such as fertility, abundance and the apple in the Garden of Eden. And yet due to the way in which we reinterpret and retell things continually its narrative is constantly changing as it is subjected to new contexts and environments that influence the way we read the symbol. This varying viewpoint of the viewer can therefore influence the pieces intended meaning, but is this a bad thing? Our differing previous knowledge of subjects allows artworks to be placed within multiple contexts, letting the viewer inflict their own reality on the subject and potentially conclude an entirely different meaning or feeling than intended.

I asked him for it, for the blood, for the rust, for the sin
Chalk, pencil and pastel on primed paper
350 cm x 150 cm

You can view more of Rowan’s work on Instagram here and here.