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‘08 International Baccalaureate Marina Qaldas

[ART PORTFOLIO] This portfolio presents the theme of my Art Higher Level course in the IB and provides explanations of the works.

IB candidate Statement:

Three dimensional works

The International Baccalaureate requires of its Art candidates to establish a theme and work around it during the course of two years. My theme throughout this course was ‘Captivity and Restrictions.’ It aims to convey emotions of anger or helplessness. I use technique and medium to depict a mood of harshness and distastefulness. I have been inspired by my own personal life and artists like Kathë Kollwitz and Alberto Giacometti who convey similar expressionist messages of misery or human alienation. Kollwitz’s unique etching style expresses a somber mood which is most evident in my pyrographic works. Despite being renowned for his sculptures, Giacometti’s rough and loose painting style also inspired my creation of rough sketches like Fracas and Falling and my painting of The Scream II. I looked for media and works which would express bleakness and acrimony. My research varied from gallery visits to library searches and local artist interviews. I have learned to develop and perfect my skills when working with different media ranging from the use of plaster, clay, fire, smoke and wood, to acrylic paint and pencil sketches. This course has allowed me to discover my weaknesses, strengthen my abilities, and overall, has taught me how to convey a personal message through art.

Fists of Fury This work conveys the anger that arouses due to being held captive. The fists are defined and appear to be protruding from the surface, trying to break free in anger. Antonio Gaudi inspired me to create this work. I was impressed with his integration of nature in architectural design and structure. With this, he gave his stone structures a sense of vitality. My Fists of Fury are shaped in the form of a tree, the bark being the ropes which bind the hands and the fists emerging and growing from the bark. The fists then melt representing the lost cause of fury. No matter what someone might do to express anger, captivity will always keep him restrained. The anger is to no avail. I tried to achieve a sense of forceful rhythm through the pattern of the fists contrasted with a directional movement downwards through the melting of the fists.




Top view

Close shots

Dimensions: ht: 50 cm; width: 25 cm Medium: clay, plaster – mixed medium

Decaying head This work is an expression of helplessness due to captivity. The subject is in distress and an air of melancholy surrounds her. The decaying head reflects the idea of watching life being wasted and decayed; made useless due to restrictions which prevent the subject from becoming useful and prosperous in life. The gory and horrific image of the decay aims to strengthen this message. The girl’s saddened eyes reflect her internal struggle and misery. The sculpture is cracking as she is breaking down because of her state. My main inspiration for this work is Otto Dix’s Skull which depicts a rotting skull. However, my work shows the rotting of something still living. The pain associated with this is therefore emphasized.

Dimensions: ht: 40 cm; width: 25 cm Medium: clay, plaster – mixed medium

Two dimensional works

Straightjacket The Scream


Dimensions: ht: 150 cm; width: 110 cm Medium: Pyrographic etching and smoke on wood

'Straightjacket' also expresses The Scream portrays extreme frustration due to being the result of being held restrained. face is in the is captive. The The straightjacket ‘perfect’ state of fury. It an obvious symbol of is almost as ifincarceration. the viewer can Thehear manthe in scream. It is trying to emerge subject is helpless and from the deep This blackness which exhausted. is portrayed surrounds it trying to escape through the 'drop' of his head from thethe darkness. and careless However, position ofthe subject is trapped and his legs. He has givenhence, up the scream. trying to escape. He is in a I used and etching state pyrography of despair; his soul is on wood as the two main dead. His situation in the techniques in this work. I have corner of the room shows experienced the actual cathartic that he has been left and physical pains of etching into neglected. Thisanguish emphasizes wood to express and his mistreatment. fury. Etching allowed me to I also used pyrography create a bitter, acrid moodand due to smoke to create thisetched work. A the hoarseness of the dark value with tones of black lines. and grey is created which Kathe Kollwitz was my prime conveyed a dark and inspiration as she too, conveyed depressing Thedistress texture expressions ofmood. pain and alsoworks conveys the message in her through etching.of pain.burnt I achieved rhythmof and I have the surface the wood directional with a flame movement allowing the candle soot the to rest on the wood. through vertical lines Thiscreated is howon I created deep the wallthe behind black of the background. thecolor subject. This etches Thecreated textureemphasis of my worketching on the intosubject wood-and helped convey contributed the to message of frustration. the mood of distress.I created contrast between the pitch-black color the‘Straightjacket’ background and In of both andthe light‘The tone in the face’s protruding Scream’ I was not features, like the cheeks and the concerned with the typical nose. The overall value of my and complete process of work is dark, portraying a range etching. Rather, I was only of black tones. concerned with the physical process of etching- the destructive method which conveyed the message of anger and distress.

Straightjacket Straightjacket is an obvious symbol of incarceration. The subject is helpless and exhausted. This is portrayed through the drop of his head and the careless position of his legs. He has given up trying to escape. He is in a state of despair; his soul is dead. His situation in the corner of the room shows that he has been left neglected. This emphasizes his mistreatment. Like The Scream I used pyrography and etching to express this pain. The dark values of black and grey aim to convey a sinister and depressing mood. I used the vertical lines to create downward movement in the work, almost as if the space was closing down on the figure.


Dimensions: ht: 130 cm; width: 105 cm Medium: Pyrographic etching and smoke on wood

The Scream II The Scream 2 Thiswork workisisanother anotherversion versionof of This The Scream. It is done in acrylic ‘The Scream’. It is done in and in a and different technique. acrylic in a different Alberto Giacometti’s painting technique. technique inspired me to create Alberto Giacometti paintings this work. His extremely loose were inspired this technique. and sketchy painting technique His extremely loose and attracted me as I saw it as a sketchy painting technique means to convey a harsh and attracted me as I saw it as a acrid mood. I did not use aand brush means to convey a harsh for this painting to avoid having acrid mood. I dint not use a abrush smooth Instead used forsurface. this painting to Iavoid a palette knife to ‘cut’ through having a smooth surface. the paintIapplied on the canvas Instead used a palette knife to and to create a rough surface. ‘cut’ through the paint applied There is contrast on the canvas and between to createthe a clashing colors used, green and rough surface. maroon. textured lines the of There isThe contrast between paint give both a sense of clashing colors used, green and rhythm and unity the work. maroon. There is to rhythm in the technique used- the frantic and randomly running ‘lines’ of paint which accumulate to formulate the entire work. Unity is created through the rough texture of the entire face filling up the canvas.



Dimensions: ht: 120 cm; width: 90 cm Medium: Acrylic on canvass



Dimensions: ht: 45 cm; width: 70 cm Medium: Charcoal sketch

Fracas, is an expression of anger due to captivity. It portrays several figures in what seems to be a brawl. Anger is expressed through their movement, their positions, the tension in their bodies and the expressions on their faces. Each man is presented in a different position and is in conflict with every other figure in the drawing. This is why the men are in physical contact – attacking and assaulting each other. Each figure is fighting for space and thus, his freedom. The work represents an explosion of anger as a reaction to being held captive. The content of the work was inspired by Peter Rubens’ paintings. Several of his paintings present a chaotic atmosphere which he portrayed through the movement and action of figures. This is how I decided to draw the figures in my work. The main element through which anger is conveyed is the action poses of the men. This creates the mood of turmoil and rebellion. Again, Alberto Giacometti’s loose and sketchy drawing style inspired my technique. This style created a harsh and pungent mood of the work. The drafted lines are loose and random to portray the coarseness in the subject of the work and hence, emphasize the bitter and destructive effect of captivity. The lack of space between the figures emphasizes the conflict within the group and the failed attempt to escape captivity.

Falling Falling expresses the helplessness and lack of hope that a subject may feel due to being captive and restrained. The subject feels like he is falling- an act of weakness- a symbol of inconsequential resistance. The figures are falling into the abyss belowwatching their lives go to waste because of restrictions imposed on them. Their bodies are in motion- flinging, flailing limbs, twisted, distorted, and outstretched- all motions of desperation. The act of falling itself, a downward motion, represents their moral and motivational decline. Like with Fracas, I was inspired by Giacometti’s pencil sketches to convey a bitter mood. Ruben’s also inspired the creation of this chaotic and desolate scene. The texture of my work is rough and is created by the accumulation of randomly drafted lines. Directional movement is evident by the bodies falling downwards.


Dimensions: ht: 105 cm; width: 40 cm Medium: Charcoal sketch

Boxed As the titled implies, Boxed conveys the message of captivity. The pain resulting is expressed in the lack of space and ‘tight packing’ of the individuals into boxes; the awkward and unnatural positions of their feet and bodies. This work, composed of five pieces conveys both the surrender to captivity and the fight to escape. A few individuals continue to push against the inside of the box while other lay motionless. The technique used is similar to etching; however I am etching into paint to create a rough surface texture further adding to the mood of pain.


Dimensions (each varies between): ht: 50-80 cm; width: 40-60 cm Medium: Acrylic paint and gel medium

IB Art Portfolio  

Explains the theme of my course work as well as each of the art works for my International Baccalaureate Art higher level course.

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