By Melvin Buquerente
The scene that I chose to base my artwork is the first scene of the book. This scene is where Anna is daydreaming of her past in the West Indies. She is having this flashback in her room with Maudie. I chose this scene because of the rich descriptions of her past and her current emotional state. There is also detailed information regarding her mentality.
For my creative assignment, the medium I used is visual arts. More specifically, I did a variation of Body Mapping. Body Mapping is an art therapy approach used in Social Work to get client’s to explore their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In traditional practice, a client would draw, scribble or color on a blank paper with an outline of a body. The client is asked to demonstrate how a certain emotion affects them physically. For example, a client who has anger issues may aggressively color their hands and head because those are telltale signs for them that they are experiencing an episode. They could describe the situation as: “When I get angry, my thoughts begin racing, my palms become sweaty and I have the need to punch something”. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, I will be putting a twist to this therapeutic approach. My body map demonstrates key elements of Anna’s identity as well as her emotions. This includes her mentality, her darkness, her innocence, etc. I will be taking certain passages from the book and will be displaying it artistically on my map and justifying the image. For example, we know that Anna is a virgin in the beginning of the novel but she then turns into a promiscuous woman. A representation of this could be a flower slowing dying covering her groin region. There are many areas of interpretation in which I am hoping to add my creative touch.
Furthermore, the color accents on the outside of my Bodymap are contrasting her feelings in London vs. her feelings in the West Indies. On the inside of her body, I tried to demonstrate her inner conflict of culture on the left side. On the right side of her body, I used the colors blue, red and gray to showcase her emotions regarding Nana the prostitute. On page 9, Anna says: “[…] the endless procession of words gave me a curious feeling – sad, excited and frightened.” The color blue represents her sadness, the red represents her excitement and the gray expresses her fear.
I do believe that I was able to express the spirit of the novel onto my artwork. Although the final product was not how I expected to turn out, all the emotions and thoughts I wanted on my Bodymap were highlighted.
As I was working on this project, I realized that I had more creativity that I had previously imagined. During a stressful time of the semester, this assignment allowed me to let loose and release my emotions into this masterpiece.