* 3rd Place: Meher Kaur – Expectations

Artist: Meher Kaur
Title: Expectations
Grade: 10th grade
School: Bentley Upper School
Teacher: Artwork created independently

“Expectations” is a piece of art I created in hopes of connecting with others struggling with what my art portrays – depression. Everyone who struggles with depression naturally goes through very different situations – however, me being one of them and having known others who struggle as well, I tried making this piece as inclusive to others as possible. I attempted to cover a couple of commonly known problems, so people understand that they’re not alone.

The artwork is of a woman’s face, halfway divided with a red line – one side of the line being what she portrays herself to be to the world, and the other her true self. However, the side of her she shows to the world is based on society’s expectations, therefore being too big of a mask to fill (the size difference in mask=face). She’s unable to keep up her false impression so she starts “melting”, and the red lines outlining her smile depict what she and society see as normal and should be permanent. The other side of her feels trapped, which is what the red cross on her mouth is drawn for. She feels like she’s breaking down – permanently, and there’s too much to handle, which is the crack in her face blending into the black background. There’s also a clear contrast in backgrounds, the society’s expectations being white, symbolizing perfection and cleanliness, which, by virtue leads to a black background on the other side.