The mutant nude takes the concept of a nude. It is what inspired this piece. I turned the subject into being unrecognisable – the only trait allowing one to recognise it is the breasts. Though they have instead turned into eyes. They are watchful of the audience- judging the audience for gazing upon the nude. It’s sort of- the way that many would judge a nude, but instead, the nude is judging you.
It takes the gaze from the audience and becomes that gaze. It’s looking directly at you. It is supposed to make you feel judged and watched. It turns you into the nude itself.
This is inspired by a firework show that I went to recently. The colours explode in the air, captivating the audience in the canvas of the dark sky. Yet many consider it a spectacle rather than an abstract art piece. When a firework is lit- it ejects so much colour in random strays of patterns into the sky. It’s beautiful; it might be loud, but in reality, with the sounds dulled- it becomes a peaceful array of colours scattering every terrace of the night sky.
It must inspire peace within those who view it, the peace that the night gives. The abstract is a firework; therefore, the abstract is its style.
There have been many discussions on what is beautiful and what is not. It has led to this work being inspired mainly by the idea of the beauty standard throughout time. The figure has elongated limbs, its legs are almost taller and more voluminous than the torso, yet the body is muscular. This juxtaposes between two bodies, yet the tallness in the arms becomes skinny as they go lower. You can purchase this art here in print or the whole item.
It is as though time changes, and we gain different opinions on what’s beautiful. But the question this work asks is, “Who decides what we should look like?” and “Why can’t we just be who we want to be?”. Its existence references the countless amounts of influencers on the internet (and prior) who push these standards. These “standards” lead to toxic problems like eating disorders or anxiety.
The standards must be pushed away and broken down. The word standard is substantial and pushing; it’s a somewhat abusive word, to more exact. It’s something that forces you to be a certain way. Therefore, combating the standards can result in the destruction of force and the triumph of freedom and choice.
The piece’s medium is in ballpoint pen, but there is also a charcoal version (in A3) of this artwork. What started as an idea is seemingly stretching out into becoming a series of works targeting the beauty standards of today’s world.
WHAT IS REALLY THE BEAUTY STANDARD? (CHARCOAL)
This is the much more defined and thought-out version of the original sketch though this is my process behind turning a sketch into a painting. Thus muscles are more defined and dark, and the body morphs outwards.
Tree (2022) is an artwork by Joshua Obara Norwood – an abstract expressionist style with oil pigment sticks over a wooden canvas. The work is full of distorting previous layers, scratching into the surface, and then painting over it again with the pigment. These methods create a history with the idea of creating a mysterious shady tree in the painting.
Abstract Expressionist Oil Stick on Panel (Pigment on Wooden Panel)
It is supposed to be hung with the other painting, “JUNCTION I“, which showcases a chaotic metro look. This painting is calm yet slightly chaotic, which adds to the illusion of stability that both give. Perhaps- we’re not stable, and we all have a bit of chaos and calm within us. These are human emotions transcribed into a painting and manipulated so that anything or everything can suddenly be wiped away. A wipe with clay modelling tools creates a swipe. Unconventional tools are used as life is not convenient.
These paintings that Joshua does are painted over several days. Every new layer adds a new form of history as multi-faceted, like a person. You can find his art on sale over here.
JUNCTION I is an artwork by Joshua Obara Norwood– it is an abstract work created with oil sticks (pigment sticks), encaustic wax and soy wax on a canvas.
Oil stick, encaustic and wax on canvas. 50cmx60cm
This painting symbolises our symbiosis between a fast-paced life and a hectic internal battle over anxiety.
The process behind it started when I was drunk. Using oil sticks, painting a scene, and then smudging everything together with a white stick. Then while still wet, I scraped the canvas with a tweezer. An unusual tool to use.
These marks were done while drunk; everything is spontaneous and acted out on the internal thoughts you have that come out when drunk.
Two days pass, and it’s dried. I mix soy wax with non-toxic dyes. Then heat it up, throw it at the canvas, and manipulate it.
The manipulation was fast to explore the idea and theme of a fast-paced modern life using junctions and trains. It relates entirely to our feelings when we’re anxious and drunk. Everything races around and feels terrible.
All unused wax that was melted; was repurposed into a jar which I would use as a candle to reduce waste.
His blog shows many other different artworks with similar themes! Be sure to check the rest of his work out!
Ordinary Trash, Unusual Beauty (2022) is a project on repurposing objects that would otherwise be trashed. This installation work continues on the ongoing theme of Josh’s work on climate change. Especially as a linking project to the Suffocation Clothes (2022-ongoing).
Paper is a recurring material in this project as it is easily recycled and costs nothing to recycle. We take glass jars, any object that would get thrown away and give it a new decorative life. Why can’t trash become beautiful objects to be admired? What makes trash, trash anyway? Can we re-use and re-use objects and when do they really die?
This project was mostly done to create a nice experience while I was staying at Albert Court. Though the idea was to propagate that we should be not wasting– especially as the cost of living crisis is spiralling out of control. Why should we buy something expensive to decorate our inner lives when we could simply make it ourselves. This project serves to answer that a bit of colour can really help your mood and well- save the planet! Some of the works have meaning to them, but mostly – I made these to help myself survive my first year on my own. It really worked; I’ve come to admire the simplest of creations. This wasn’t made for the market- it was made for me.
I simply sometimes believe that some art should be made for the sake of having something that makes you happy.
Status of the artwork
The status of the artworks has since been passed on to my family. I have gifted my parents the artworks and they are now under their care. Therefore any sale enquiries will be forwarded to members of my family if you want to purchase anything in the series.
They have started to use some of the artworks as containers. That said, it creates the question of whether art can have a purpose. Other than an idea- but an actual use and function.
That’s about it on this project, perhaps I’ll make it into a zine that you can buy with details on each work…
This is my response to the “Easter Eggs” idea and concept. I have taken and repurposed a box and applied red and black 3-dimensional decoupage to it.
I have taken this approach because I believe that Easter, in fact. It’s a scam! It’s a sham. What you buy an Easter egg is a lifeless ploy from consumerism to make you feel happy that you gifted something to someone.
How much effort does it take to gift something that you bought?
Easter is lifeless, just like Modern Christmas. Therefore, this COPY ART response is to repurpose this item into a gift with time and thought.
It is an Easter gift intended for my mother, who is Japanese. Red and black are colours I’ve commonly seen when I was in Japan as a child, so I wanted to make something that somewhat resembles Japan to her. This is turning a lifeless gift into a life gift. Unlike cash, its effort, hard work, and time is a currency that cannot be refunded.
Time is worth more than anything money can buy.
Do something else this year- decorate the box. Don’t give a lifeless gift- provide it with life; respond to the person. Turn it into a COPY ART piece! Craft something beautiful and give it to something! Crafts will be revived- it’s time to bring it back full force.
Easter needs to be reborn
As a concept; despite religion- Easter has changed. Easter was traditionally religious- now its religion is in a modern form. It worships consumerism. This art piece (and soon art collection) pursues a response that Easter also must be reborn. Therefore, being reborn as a Crafts movement- to show love and compassion. We can only gift gifts – if they are a personification of our love and time. If not- then what makes it a gift?
Ordinary Trash, Unusual Beauty – Originally published on 13/02/2022
Ordinary Trash, Unusual Beauty
OTUB (2022) is an installation project by Joshua Obara Norwood that explores using commonly trashed items and repurposing them into objects of beauty and aesthetics.
It continues a recurring theme of Joshua’s work with environmental issues and “trash art” (see the Suffocation Clothes). It allows the “explorer” of the installation to enter the room and feel the atmosphere of repurposed trash. Interaction is not advised due to sharp edges on the ceramic works.
Why does trash have to be trash? Why can’t we convert it into something beautiful and something that boosts our mood? Such that these colourful additions to your interior landscape shift your mood- and this installation work aims to prove this.
Craft Waste (2022)
Craft waste is an ironic twist on turning waste into materials commonly used to create items that are often wasted. Therefore, making the faux fabric with paper and the items commonly used in designing clothes. Fast fashion is one of the biggest polluters on this planet- and we’re putting it as one of the main narratives on entering the installation.
Black Swan, Trash Flower & The Nile (2022)
The two bottles in this work used to be wine bottles – wine tends to be something that ages. Glass is similar to that; it doesn’t decompose. So why don’t we make it one of the significant additions to the artwork? Hence the project’s common theme is to re-use the objects that take hundreds of years to be decomposed and repurpose them so we don’t damage the environment. Thus explaining the reference to the Nile notes that once the Nile used to be one of the world’s fertile rivers, now it has been polluted- mainly due to trash being thrown into it.
Wine Cabinet (2022)
Utilising my student accommodations shelves in the room- I used one of them to create a fake wine cabinet to place the recycled wine bottles. Then I used random colours to create a variety that replicates the wine types that exist. Consequently is also a nod to the point that most plastic waste is un-reusable due to having colours on the plastic.
Processed or Raw? (2022)
The colourful milk container is contrasted by a black milk container. Essentially it creates a contrast that has been created to show how much better for humanity if we buy local- the bright milk container is raw milk. Raw milk is bought directly from a farmer in contrast to the coldness of buying milk from a supermarket. Thus supporting the farmer- if you purchase anything from them directly. We have no idea what supermarkets pay the farmers, and we, the UK, should be in charge of restoring agriculture. This is to bring to the conversation that those people who complain of having nothing local- why don’t they research about farms near them? Consequently, we should buy British. Go out there and support the economy if you can!
Detergent is Death! (2022)
The laundry detergent bottle is black with a white cloth underneath it. The white is a symbol of the foaming that a fish could do if they digest the chemicals inside the detergent bottle. Evidently, the bottle is black to evoke sadness of what we’re doing to this planet by improperly disposing of these products. How can we have humanity if we don’t treat our own world with the humanity we want from each other? Contrastingly, this is also a reaction to the garbage bin that was left in the River Mersey for a couple of years with the council not doing anything.
The glitz on the pill bottle is to show how we humans get addicted to artificial chemicals. They’re so great that they treat symptoms!.. but they’re not recyclable. This raises the question- if we have a prescription why don’t we get the right number we need until treatment is over instead of getting a set amount. Accordingly would that not reduce waste? Or! We could use the leftovers for artwork!