Independent Study with Prof. Michael Kolster - Fall 2010
Sports have been a large part of my life. It was a part of my identity, it taught me how to be a team player, to dig deeper, and to always put forth my best effort. Although I no longer participate in sports, I still carry the lessons learned from my many years of running and playing basketball. With this project, I asked three athletes from Bowdoin if they would share with me how sports have affected their lives. Each athlete has a different story. In some cases, it’s about the lessons learned, other times it becomes a part of their identity, and sometimes it is both. Tiernan has been always been viewed as both the captain of the Women’s Soccer team and the Yearbook Editor. These photographs are illustrating how the viewer thinks of her. Alex is a champion paddler and skillful in the art of ceramics. Because of these interests, Alex has learned to enjoy the journey, to not worry about the final destination. Throughout her high school and college career, Jay has never been as seen as both a hockey player and as an artist. For the first time, Jay’s two identities are in one place for the viewer to see.
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Tiernan is the captain of the Women's Soccer team and the Editor of the yearbook. She isn't one or the other; she is always seen as both. She is not only viewed as a soccer player on the field but also as a soccer player off the field. Whether she is in the Yearbook Office, the computer lab, or her room, Tiernan is consistently viewed as the Yearbook Editor. Soccer and Yearbook are major components of her identity and with these photographs, Tiernan and I are illustrating how viewers think of her.
Alex is a champion paddler who has been taught by both her grandfather and her father to enjoy the journey, to have fun and not worry about her final destination. As a paddler, her goal is to become an Olympian kayaker and to win a medal. While Alex trains, she constantly reminds herself to focus on the workout at hand, never worrying how it will affect her chances of becoming an Olympian. This type of thinking has greatly influenced the way she lives her life, not just on the water, but in the ceramic studio as well. Similarly while she's molding the clay, she isn't worrying about the final details, she's concentrating on the task at hand. Alex has learned from paddling that it's not about the final destination and with these photographs, Alex and I begin to capture her journey.
Jay is both a hockey player and an artist, yet she is never seen as both. She feels that when people look into her eyes, they aren't really seeing her. They are seeing either the hockey player or the artist, but not simultaneously. In these photographs, Jay and I are placing each of her identities into one image so that the viewer sees Jay for who she is, a hockey player and an artist.