2021 Grad Show

Ananda Skywalker

AUArts Grad Show Panoptic Reality (2018) – exterior eye detail

Fibre

My practice focuses on creating objects that incorporate varying degrees of humor in response to cultural, social, and political events. I seek to direct awareness to things in our society that are very much present yet often ignored, such as modes of human observation and surveillance in our society. With this, my work aims to create awareness about surveilling mechanisms, the abuses of power, and the psychological consequences for humans living in a panoptic society.
I utilize anti-elitist strategies in my artworks, such as form, humour, and handcrafted elements, to challenge elitist structures and create tiers of accessibility. These strategies are meant to negate the histories of economic privilege and exclusion held within the art world. With this, I attempt to make the viewer feel as though they are on equal ground with the work, whereby the materials are relatable yet absurd, the concepts are accessible and informative.
Sharing themes with the Dadaist movement, my work reacts to contemporary politics with the intent to provoke awareness. My intent is to shock the viewer into examining societal norms and conventions that may be perceived as detrimental to forwarding notions of equality, privacy, and freedom. Further to this, I aim to challenge conventions of art exhibition with form; works can be shown on the street, in a domestic setting, or in a gallery. Such shifts in the exhibition site promote ideas of accessibility and the humorous aspects of my work are perceivable by most people regardless of their education, allowing the work to be understood by a broad range of people. My artwork is multi layered conceptually, beginning with surface humour that unravels towards tiers of criticality and concept. I utilize craft to expose notions of empowerment. Craft, because of its human connectivity, allows my work to speak with a human voice even when satirizing others, perhaps even the viewer. I seek to make art that engages the viewers on equal ground; I do not want to create works that dominate or intimidate the viewer into a position where their humanness makes them feel small.
Through my art practice I consider situations of human observation in regards to surveillance. With this, my work aims to create awareness and direct attention toward historical and contemporary mechanisms of surveillance and potential for abuses of power.

Watching Everything

Watching Everything (2019)
Indigo dyed cotton denim and silk, plastic eyes, electronic parts, embroidery, hand constructed, standard U.S. size 10.

Cover Your Ass (Virtual Private Network Pants)

Cover Your Ass (Virtual Private Network Pants) (2020)
Digital print of encrypted data images on silk charmeuse with silk organza, hand constructed, U.S. Standard size 4

Exposed Unexposed (Virtual Private Network Dress)

Exposed Unexposed (Virtual Private Network Dress) (2020)
Digital print of encrypted data images on silk charmeuse with silk organza, hand constructed, U.S. Standard size 4

Illumination of Surveillance (Cold War Spy Lamp)

Illumination of Surveillance (Cold War Spy Lamp) (2021)
Mid century vintage lamp base with shade of digital print of declassified redacted CIA documents on cotton

Panoptic Reality

Panoptic Reality (2018)
Indigo dyed silk, pigment print on silk, with multimedia, standard U.S. size 10

Biohax and Big Brother

Biohax and Big Brother (2019)
Indigo dyed cotton denim, dyed silk, plastic eyes, electronic parts, embroidery, hand constructed, standard U.S. size 10

Surveillance Secrets (Cold War Spy Scarf)

Surveillance Secrets (Cold War Spy Scarf) (2020)
Print of declassified CIA document images on silk twill with wool crepe, hand constructed, 11” x 72”

Eyes on the Street

Eyes on the Street (2020)
100 sculptures made of modeling clay and plastic eyes mounted in public space

On the Fringe of Reality

On the Fringe of Reality (2020)
Inverted, unedited digital photograph