‘Disconnected’ – Painted Umbrella

I created this artwork last year as part of my year 12 assessment in Art. This artwork is based around similar themes as the Fibonacci artwork that I posted previously. It is centred around nature, human’s connection to it and how it can be perceived as a form of magic.

‘Disconnected’ (as I’ve titled the artwork) suggests that people should stop and take time to look at the sky more often, because the way it changes is, in my opinion, magical. People know the sky is beautiful, but few stop to consider its amazing, constantly changing appearance. By painting an umbrella, I wanted to emphasise how people are disconnected from the sky through man-made objects like buildings, umbrellas and phones.

To create this artwork, I painted a clear umbrella with acrylic paint. The images are actually painted on the outside of the umbrella, so I painted it backwards, for example, I painted the clouds and rainbow before I painted the blue sky. I’m not exactly sure why I did this, probably because the spokes of the umbrella wouldn’t get in the way, and I like doing things in unconventional ways. On a similar topic, I painted the umbrella with my fingers rather than a paintbrush. I found I had more control with my fingers, and a brush would take paint off as well as put it on because of the shiny surface of the umbrella (if that makes sense). My technique of painting seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was very difficult. I had to look at the inside of the umbrella while painting the outside with my fingers. My arms aren’t very long, so I ended up with paint all over my arms and sleeves because I couldn’t easily reach the outside of the umbrella. I also had to paint a whole panel in a sitting, because the colours wouldn’t mix if I allowed the paint to dry.

I sewed along the ribs of the umbrella, partly because they kept moving, and you could see the seams of the umbrella, but also because it makes it more personal for me. When I was a child, I was told a story about using the sky as fabric to make clothing, and, by sewing the umbrella, I’ve created a connection to this story.

The title of this artwork, ‘Disconnected’, is taken from a poem by Erin Hanson. She is an incredible poet, and I’m often inspired by her works. I believe this poem conveys the meaning of my artwork in a way that I would not be able to explain with words.


Here are a few photos of me painting the umbrella at home.

It was really hard to photograph this artwork showing all the panels and giving the artwork justice, especially because the plastic of the umbrella is shiny, but I tried. The photos below were taken before I sewed along the ribs of the umbrella (hopefully they show each panel with a bit more detail.)

The photos below are of the outside of the umbrella. I like how some of the panels, especially the ones with clouds, look a bit like an Impressionist painting (the thickly applied paint also helps with this.)

I spent many hours experimenting for and creating this artwork, and I really feel like it paid off. It was also good to spend time creating art, instead of studying, even if the artwork was for school.

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