This piece was done in stained glass. My idea was to try and celebrate how all peoples are united. I wanted the viewer to feel a sense of oneness with people from all cultures and nationalities. I had the figures flying from a center force of energy and spinning off in all directions spreading the light from within them out into the universe.
This project is done using Nupastels and charcoal pencils. I am really a lover of the natural world and wanted to draw a picture that displays that energy and emotional intensity I feel when I look out over the water on a full moon. It almost feels like you want to swallow the experience in.
I was pregnant when I made this piece of artwork. I wanted to take the idea of pregnancy and use it to describe the birth of other things that you bring forth. So I was thinking birth of creativity, loving, cooking, artwork, ect. The cord that comes from her chest and heart ignites the growth of all the things you birth. I used colored pencils for this project.
This is a plaster cast of my torso. I used burlap for the skin covering to give a it a natural, course, primitive feeling. I was thinking tribal, independent, strong female. I added braided raffia and decorative material together to make the breast coverings and pubic hair. I also added beads and some feathers. I made these parts ornamental to celebrate them- those which are essential woman. Lastly, I made a leather pouch that I put items from my past in that were somehow connected to experiences I went through, both painful and joyous. The items I carry make me who I am , a strong female.
“Letting it all Hang Out”I purchased a skirt, swimsuit, suit coat, and an apron. The first piece of clothing I started was the apron. I used the same photo as in Trapped. I printed the image of myself in a variety of sizes and colors. I printed them directly on canvas sheets. I then sewed the photos onto an old apron. I am trying to say something about the pressures I feel about having a perfect home. Though my mother was involved with the feminist movement, she was a stay home mother and wife. She did her job at home very well. I want to do all the things she did for her family plus I want to work full time as a teacher. It can be too much for one person and many times I feel overwhelmed. I put most of this pressure to be, “The Perfect Woman”, on to myself though I still think society requires women to do it all. I have put myself in the apron-trapped in some kind symbolism of the perfect homemaker. It is supposed to refer to how women trap themselves into the idea that they have to be the perfect homemaker. The small skirt has the photo with me eating. I was trying to say something about our need, as women, to constantly believe we have to attain some sort of idealized body image and we are constantly dieting yet on the hand enjoy eating too. If we eat we feel guilty. It reminds me of the way TV adds tell us to eat, eat, eat yet we are also are directed to diet, diet, diet. On the swimsuit I put a photo of myself covering up. I tried to show myself covering up along with displaying an uncomfortable expression on my face. Sometimes when we are wearing a bikini or swimsuit, we feel uncomfortable and unattractive because we are judging ourselves against others. Lastly, I made the career suit with a photo of mother and child. I went through a lot when I first went back to work after having my son. I wanted to stay home with my child and was torn between two worlds, as I believe many women are today. With each of the separate garments, I added photos that were manipulated using Photoshop. I played with layers, different colors, and repetition. I think the repetition workswell in trying to give a feel of repeated thoughts in a woman’s mind, in particular mine. I also think it gives a sense of urgency and monotony depending on what I am trying to say with each piece. At this time I have them all on a clothes line to try to convey my “dirty or personal” laundry. I would hang it on a clothesline in an art gallery-installation piece.
This piece of artwork is 36"x42". It is made of individual photos that are printed on canvas paper and applied to a large canvas using matt medium. I tried to show the many emotions one can feel in just a day. I took ten pictures of myself with different expressions. I put them in Photoshop and cropped them, put them in layers, and changed them to black and white. I then printed them each on canvas paper. I repeated the photos in smaller versions and in a variety of colors to try and relay the message of constant repeated moments in day. I wanted to show the busy pace of my life which I believe many women can relate to. I applied the photo sheets with matte medium. I wanted the larger photos to pop out a bit more so I put very thin white borders around them. The hardest part of this project was how to lay the photos on the canvas. I stared at this for hours to days. My children thought I was going bonkers. I finally settled with this layout.
I took a picture of myself using a timer. I stood in front of a window with my face pressed against the glass. I wanted to give the illusion of being trapped and looking out. I wanted to give the viewer a sense of how I feel when things become over whelming. You can sometimes put yourself in a box mentally and everything outside your box seems normal and inviting though in reality it’s what you make it. I manipulated the photo in Photoshop. I altered the color and contrast, and I played with different filters. It looks more like a print now and to me much more striking. I printed a variety of the same photo using variations of size and color directly on canvas sheets. I then applied it to a stronger canvas sheet with matte medium. I have also added pieces from the original photo onto the larger center photo (lips, eye, and hands). I cut the combined images off the canvas sheet and applied them to a 12” x 22” canvas board. I then added a black boarder around the photos to bring out the black in the project along with pulling the piece together. I applied peach and green on the top and bottom of the painting to draw you to the center of the artwork. I like the repetition of faces in a variety of colors.
This is a piece of artwork that displays my view on Pro-Choice. I am very passionate about this topic. It is a collage piece which is made with articles from the internet, a photo of my daughter, a repeated typed phrase, and photos from the internet. I started this piece of artwork by researching on the internet. I looked up artwork, stories, and photos that dealt with the topic of Pro-Choice. I found a very disturbing photo of a woman who had died alone in a hotel room from an illegal abortion. It is a shocking photo and I found it perfect for my collage. I think some people may be offended by it, but I believe some people need to see shocking things to get them to think more deeply about something. I then printed these individual stories and photos onto brown butcher paper. I applied these items onto a 24”x28”canvas with matte medium. I underlined particular statements in red pen and white marker. I took a picture of my daughter who is 16 and Pro-Choice. I altered the photo in Photoshop and added words onto her hand and shirt. I printed three versions and cut and pasted them onto the background.
I began this project by looking up images of woman and homemakers. I found this wonderful picture of a woman who, although looks like she has all the answers of being a great homemaker, looks a bit crazed. I printed the Image on a piece of 12”x 18” piece of brown butcher paper. I applied it to a 10”x20” stretched canvas with matte medium and then started going though all the collage items I had collected. I added blue buttons, magazine images, and words. I then applied color with acrylic paint. My intention was to show the idea of the perfect homemaker who was composed on the outside but inwardly she was ready to blow her top. I added the two women on the bottom who are glorifying her. Though these are old images, I believe there are women my age and younger who still feel the same way and that is why I called it, I’m a Legacy. I really like how this one looks as a finished piece of artwork.
Nina Bellanti-Johnson Works of Art
Title: “ Untitled“ Media: Stained Glass 16”x 24” surrounded by a wood frame
Title: “Don’t Fence Your self In With Fear” Media: Mixed Media ( Acrylic, Pencil, Magazine, Photos, Marker) 28”x 42”
Close-up of slide #3-”Don’t Fence Yourself in With Fear”