Naomi Arnold


Artist Statement

When attempting to complete a task I deem ‘imperfect’, my compulsion towards perfectionism causes frustration, inertia and shame. It is a compulsion that, despite my awareness of it, overcomes and stifles my creative process. Referencing the crown-of-thorns starfish, and the bleaching and destruction of vibrant coral reefs, I have represented perfectionism’s invasive and draining effect on my mind. These delicate coral forms represent how susceptible the mind is to this destructive pattern of thinking. The shells below support this, demonstrating how perfectionism consumes my brain, making me inefficient and undermining my ability to create works that are intuitive and spontaneous.

Artwork Process

I was influenced by my use of paper clay in previous work, making the medium a clear choice to create the coral forms. Creating enough coral forms took longer than expected as my perfectionism, ironically, caused me to perfect each one. The hollow clay brain shells below feature my paper clay forms on top. These have been painted black then rubbed over with lead pencil. The digital image features a mirror image of grouped coral sculptures manipulated into brain halves. The brain anatomy image was placed over the top and a layer blend applied to reveal the coral image underneath.

About the Artist

  • Name: Naomi Arnold
  • School: Corinda State High School
  • Artwork: Compulsion
  • Media: Digital photograph, modelling material, clay

As a school leaver, I hope to enrol in university in a Bachelor of Business Management. As I am not planning to do an arts degree, I would like to do regular workshops or join an arts group to ensure I keep my creative process going. My need to make something aesthetic is what motivates me to create the works that I do. I find most of my inspiration comes from my Pinterest account, as that is where I spend most of my time looking for crafts, home décor and artworks. The importance of art in a person's life as an artist or an audience is to find something you connect with and that gives you the opportunity to express yourself. Art informs people of issues in this world that some people are too scared to tackle, meaning artists have the chance to change the world. Being selected for the ‘Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art’ means that I have connected with an audience, and that means everything to me. To be recognised for this award is a true compliment and honour.