Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2014

Virginia Leigh Farrell
Virginia Leigh Farrell

The question is as old as humanity: What is the meaning of existence? I believe there is a turning point in the course of an individual’s life when one is forced to confront this question. The universal aspect of this equation is death – the uniting factor of our temporary condition. I use illustration and writing as an outlet in which I vent my frustrations with the absurdity of life. I express existence as an enigma, serendipitously beautiful yet convoluted with underlying predicaments. Life should be explored as a personal adventure, with focus on spiritual growth, as well as in benefiting the common good of the world as a community at large. I have created an adventure story realized through the form of an artist book. The title of the book, Eleven, is a significant number for me representing the age at which my existential crisis started. The main character interacts with eleven personifications of common life dilemmas: sacrifice, sexuality, pleasure, fear, old age, addiction, need vs. want, bondage, naivety, persistence, and clarity. Accordion-style binding allows for a continuous visual narrative of time and space as the main character travels through different, nuanced worlds. Panels with pop out segments allow for playful interaction with my darkly illustrated topic of death. The only resolution for existential crisis is the proactive imbuement of meaning in one’s life: going with the flow and accepting that understanding only comes in moments of clarity.

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