Sydney Holton - Senior Art Exhibition - McDonogh School

Sydney Holton

My capstone series utilizes mixed media to explore themes of identity and expression. Embellished with digital painting and embroidery, these portrait photographs aim to capture the essence of my subjects. I chose to portray a handful of my closest friends that embody a diverse range of personalities and identities. In “Sabrina”, I explore my subject’s identity as a Chinese-American along with her strong, rational, and somewhat self-conscious nature. “Lynzee” represents her youthful and fun energy while illustrating Lynzee’s struggles with self-image and judgment from those around her. In “Julia and Lily”, I demonstrate the harmony and balance between my two best friends. One of them is loyal, patient, and organized, the other is lively, optimistic, and curious.

I interviewed each of my subjects before beginning the creative process. My choices of the color scheme, location of the shoot, and general composition of the artwork evolved as a response to the subject’s interview. I collaborated with my subjects throughout the process to ensure they were comfortable and satisfied with how I was representing them. In order to illustrate the different facets of their identities, I digitally painted and embroidered on top of the portraits with images, shapes, and colors that are personally significant to the subject. I intentionally left my pieces open-ended to respect the privacy of my subjects. These works begin to promote a dialogue on the tendency to judge a person’s character based on their appearance alone. Ultimately, I created these works to celebrate my closest friends who I admire so much, and I hope that through these artworks, my viewers can appreciate the nuance and beauty of my friends’ unique personalities and identities.

View Sydney's Art

Julia and Lily