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Contradictions and Juxtapositions. By Mackenzie Ellsworth. Candidate Statement.

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Contradictions and juxtapositions

Contradictions and Juxtapositions

By Mackenzie Ellsworth

Candidate statement
Candidate Statement

When I entered IB art I had a basic idea of what art was to me. It was simply a sculpture, painting, or drawing. I strived to be the artist that could do everything, sculpt, paint and draw. I explored different medias such as acrylics, oils, clay, canvas, wood, and anything else I could think to use. I learned to use found objects and incorporate them into projects. I learned to let the ideas come to me and not force inspiration. As time went on I slowly realized I did not have to be good at everything and instead I should explore the areas of art I am most comfortable with. Eventually I moved back toward making jewelry. It is definitely the area of art I enjoy most. I struggle to express purpose and meaning within my jewelry but this weakness gives me more to strive for in the future. I have found it fascinating to study other cultures and how they are able to express so much using jewelry. In addition to the different meanings behind jewelry I have learned to explore the materials used to make it. I try to get out of my comfort zone as much as possible and constantly learn new techniques. Mostly recently I have been displaying my jewelry in different ways, such as photographing jewelry in unexpected places and turning it into a completely different type of art using Photoshop. This is a great opportunity to combine the art I am most comfortable with and something new and unfamiliar.

I have found I have a difficult time planning my art before creating it. Just as a sculptor may begin working with clay with no intention of what it will become, I watch the wire and beads transform into something unidentifiable before fully understanding what it will become. However, as I overcame this bad habit I began planning my art pieces with more meaning causing diversity within my art. The most appropriate theme to explain the diversity in my artwork is contradictions and juxtapositions. This theme keeps me inspired and leaves room for intense contrast in my works of art.

Iwb pages
IWB Pages




The beautiful sunset
The Beautiful Sunset


Acrylic & thread

12 x 24

Iwb pages1
IWB Pages

Albert Bierstadt & Pollution


  • Albert Bierstadt

    • Gained popularity with environmentalist movement

  • Natural and artificial aerosols make redder sunsets

    • Forest fires

    • Mineral dust

    • Sea spray

    • Volcanic eruptions

  • Original piece was too similar to Bierstadt’s work

  • Added the thread to make more visually appealing and to tamper with your view of the sunset

  • Beautiful sunsets is no longer natural

Albert Bierstadt

Environmental Movement


You are beautiful
You Are Beautiful


Acrylic & Sharpie


  • Can rearrange tiles to make new art piece

  • Can create contradictions with words

  • Georgia O’Keefe

    • Environment was her main inspiration

    • Work is up close

You are the light of my life

You lead me out of the darkness and into the sun

I feel I have been freed

You are more beautiful than a rose

Just open your eyes,

I am hoping you see

You are my love and always will be…

Georgia O’Keefe

“You are beautiful”

Clean slate
Clean Slate


A wooden frame, acrylic, glue, & metal rings

14 ½ x 17 ½

Iwb pages2
IWB Pages

Danny Dries


  • Danny Dries

    • Painter, sculptor, and photographer

      • Combines all THREE in ONE piece of art

    • “I don’t think, don’t plan, just paint”

  • Clean Slate

    • A canvas can always be painted on top of, you can always start over

Danny Dries

Clean Slate

Natural art
Natural Art



8 x 10


  • Ansel Adams

    • Photographer

    • Primarily nature oriented photographs

    • Some of his works displayed beings represented by natural objects

  • Enhanced in photoshop

  • Originally was going to be combined with jewelry

Ansel Adams



Photograph of peyote stitched seed beads on a tree stump

10 x 8

Iwb pages3
IWB Pages

Peyote Stitch


  • Peyote Stitch

    • Used among North American tribes

    • Original beads were all natural materials

      • Shells, rocks, etc

  • The necklace is displayed in nature

  • Present day jewelry is not so directly connected with nature

  • Andy Goldsworthy

    • Representation of nature

Peyote Stitch

Andy Goldsworthy

True elegance
True Elegance


Glass pearls, Swarovski crystals, & seed beads

Iwb pages4
IWB Pages

Gothic Architecture & Art


  • Gothic Architecture

    • The rose window

      • Let in both light and air

      • Found above the west entrance of churches

      • Similar pattern to the circular shapes in the bracelet

  • Juanita Carlos “Jaycee”

    • Born and raised in South Africa

    • Bracelet inspired by Zulu jewelry (a tribe in South Africa)

Gothic Architecture

Juanita Carlos

Once upon a bee
Once upon a Bee


Amber beads, glass beads, metal leaves, wire, & chain (in a shadow box)


  • Wired flowers together

  • Displayed in a shadow box just as plants and insect species are displayed in museums

  • Contradictory because not an actual living being



Black canvas, sharpie & a gear

12 x 24

Iwb pages5
IWB Pages

Juxtaposition & Henna flowers


  • Juxtaposition

    • “The fact of two things being seen or placed together with contrasting effect”

  • Natural

    • Flower

    • Henna is a natural material

  • Unnatural

    • A manmade bicycle gear

  • “There is no difference between the natural and the unnatural because you cannot have one without the other”

Natural vs


Chained religion
Chained Religion


Crystal, gold chain, & religious charms


  • Separation from heaven and earth

  • Charms:

    • Representation of the church

  • Chains:

    • Physical separation between the sky and earth

  • Crystal:

    • The “glittering sky”

      • Heaven

  • “Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal.”

    • Ezekiel 1:22

Heaven & Earth

Ezekiel 1:22

Future project needs improvements
Future Project (needs improvements)


Glass pearls, Chinese crystals & lamp work beads

Future project
Future Project

Sand Harbor

Future project1
Future Project

Sand Harbor