Anisa Malik

The Balancing Act

Graphite on Paper and Mylar, 2015

An individual’s identity is continually developing and being influenced throughout a their life. A person is merely a snapshot of what influences are primarily dictating their state of being at the time. The Balancing Act is about the collective chosen and existing influences that work to create the expression of identity. Identity is very individualized and elastic in nature. My work explores this component of choice in identity.

The creative decisions I made in order to effectively communicate my message include the choice of media, form and interactions. I chose to create a graphite drawing as I knew right from the start of this that I wanted to explore more emotion in my piece. Thus, to explore emotion I thought this would be most effective by creating a realistic drawing. The form of my work or the movement of the figures works to create the sense of feeling I was looking for. To me, emotion comes in very flowing and precise movements so I took inspiration from ballerina dancers for the human figure, which helped develop the idea of balance. Lastly, the interactions in the piece help me effectively communicate my message, as it is very essential in representing the influence or choice in identity formation. The human figure is planted to the ground and forcefully pulling the stripe of the zebra slowly unraveling it. The zebra’s stripes are symbolic of a very individualized identity thus act as the fine tuning influence or choice the figure is making in adding on to his existing identity. Here, it is evident that the man is choosing his own influence and allowing it to influence who he already is defined as, this ultimately creates the sense of elasticity in the process of identity formation.