My final outcome for my Foundation Degree project was two paintings. I was looking into the difference between people’s private lives and public lives, and I created a collection of screen printed t-shirts from photographs off my own social media. Social media was an essential thing to include in my investigation because it plays a huge part in peoples lives and contributes to people’s ‘online identity’ – something that is (for many people) just as important as their real life identity.

I took two separate series of photographs of people in these t-shirts, and painted from them. I decided to only use the photographs with the mobile phones in as my reference photos, because I thought that the presence of the phone in the image was an essential cue to the prominence of social media the effects and consequences it has within these paintings.

I am really pleased with how the paintings have turned out. I painted them onto canvas that I had primed with gesso, and then stretched these over two MDF boards cut to the same size. By stretching them onto MDF, it gives me the option to then take them off after the exhibition, meaning that they will be much easier to store. It gives me options.

As the MDF is a relatively heavy material, I had to get more creative with the method of hanging my paintings. I decided to use split battens – I created these in the workshop using MDF cutoffs, and they worked really well. They did exactly what they needed to do and they can take a lot of weight, which is perfect for these paintings. I have been keeping a list of headlines that I have seen which have connections with social media for several months, and therefore, I had a range to choose from to name my paintings. I decided to use headlines to name the paintings because, I thought that it would add an interesting layer of context to the painting. I think that ‘5 Ways To Make Your Eyes Look Pretty This Weekend’ and ‘Is Social Media Toxic – and Should You Quit?’ work well as titles. They not only address head on what these paintings are about, but they could also be the headlines of what the woman is reading on her phone. We can see that she is engrossed in something, but we are not certain what it is.