Visual Representation Essay
Characters in the texts; “As you like it”, the play by Shakespeare, “Standing in the shoes of others”, the speech by Linda Burney and “Girl Interrupted” the 1999 film directed by James Mangold, find a sense of belonging under the influence of place. A physical place is often symbolic of whether a character feels accepted. Characters relationship with their external environment often conveying how the character feels they fit in with the world around them. The river that bisects the work is a metaphor for the elements that prevent belonging.
Two glass bottles float in the water, the glass representing the barriers that prevent characters from belonging. As a result the figures are isolated and unable to belong to the communities. The river representing how elements such as hate, distrust, or stubborn prejudice can restrict create a barrier between the individual and a community. Susanna in Girl interrupted does not belong to society, one of the ways this is manifested is in her rebellious attire; dark boy clothes and short cropped hair that contrasts with the light feminine formal wear.
This is why contrasting patters of spots against stripes have been used to further emphasise the figures displacement. In As you like it the natural setting of the forest of Arden is representative of belonging. The forest is characterised as a place of reconciliation, that remedys the negative effects of the corrupt court (show in how Oliver is changed). The dominance of the natural elements in the work mirrors the dominance of the Pastoral setting in the play, as it was one of the key features that shaped characters sense of belonging.
Aborigines cultural and spiritual relationship with their traditional land is a feature that shapes their sense of cultural identity. (Another reason for the dominance of land in the work, referencing “in others shoes speech”) The colours of the figures vary, as they are decorated to fit in with the colours of their surrounding environment, linking with the aboriginal perception that humans are considered part of the land. The abstract figures faceless-ness allow the viewer to identify with them more, as belonging is a universal human need.