Ava von Behren – Continuum

Artist: Ava von Behren
Title: Continuum
Media: Watercolor and ink
Grade: 11th grade
School: Bentley Upper School
Teacher: Kelsey Jones

This piece was created under the concept of future self. I wanted to convey the ongoing changes one undergoes throughout time along with the values and parts of our identities that remain constant. I’ve painted three figures of myself all on different steps to signify the various stages of life, but to also indicate the shared experience between the versions of myself. The mostly blue colour scheme with the few additions of red and yellow, again, tie into this notion of self connection, and pay homage to the flag of the Phillipines. As a biracial person, I’ve always felt this tug of war between the conflicting parts of my identity, and never felt completely in the right to claim being Filipinx as part of my identity. I wanted to portray this constant part of my identity in a more subtle way, and to express being Filipinx as one part of my identity. Perhaps this part of my piece is not obvious, but the subtlety allows me to represent myself in a comfortable way and leaves space for people’s personal interpretations. The waves in the background further the sense of movement and change, and create a loose, calm effect. I did this piece in watercolor to match the concept of movement and time, and the ink on the figures helps to reinforce their positioning and stance.