Hannah Galbraith is a senior graphic design major, graduating with the class of 2020. She is from Hillsboro, Oregon, and is planning on remaining in Spokane after her time at Whitworth.
Through this series of photographs, I have developed the practice of the removal of unnecessary distractions. By focusing solely on the symmetry of a composition and abstracting the subject matter past the point of recognition, I am able to claim that my anxieties have no hold on me. I can tune them out through this process of total abstraction, as I am swallowed up by the image. This series was a breakthrough in my artmaking because I realized through abstraction, I can create a composition that is straightforward and to the point while also being ambiguous, giving the viewer something intriguing to look at, while still leaving them guessing as to what it actually is. This way of representing the subject matter at such a close viewpoint works as an escape from my anxieties as much as it is an expression of my methods of calming myself. When taking these photographs, as well as looking at them as a finished product, I am engulfed with a feeling of complete calm, like nothing else exists. These photographs have opened a new world of possibilities in my artwork, both in photography and in graphic design. This practice seeps into my design work in two ways: 1) it has shown me the importance of details in a composition, and 2) it has helped me to determine with greater clarity what elements of a design should stay, and which are unnecessary. I have grown as an artist and a person since the beginning of this project, and I am excited to continue exploring this concept of abstraction as a way of calming the mind.