Freestyle Academy proudly presents

Springing Downward in the Dark: A Junior Narrative Diptych by Michelle Rubinstein (2012)

My narrative diptych is meant to illustrate an instance in which I take on more issues than I am capable of dealing with. Typically, I volunteer myself to perform tasks that are not required of me and to help others with their personal problems. These extra responsibilities pile on top of my own internal issues which puts me in a position that I am not necessarily equipped to handle well. However, externally, I choose to maintain a strong facade for two reasons. First of all, I like for those whom I assist to feel like I am strong enough to help them deal with their problems, for I would rather they place the burden on me than on nobody. Secondly, I truly believe that smiles are reflective; if I act in a positive manner causing those around me to reciprocate, the positivity eventually reflects back to me. In order to depict these situations, I chose a closeup of a cat beside a mask covered in glue. The cat is meant to analogize my actions of taking on more than I can handle to the actions of a cat who jumps onto a branch that is too high. Though cats are able to reach high branches, they are sometimes unable to get themselves down, similar to how I am sometimes unable to manage the many burdens properly. In the first photo, the image of a high branch is reflected in the cat's eye as he contemplates whether or not the climb is worth it. To represent my habit of wearing a strong front during these times, the second photograph features a mask covered in glue, ready to adhere itself forcefully to my face. The glue forms an intricate design to convey the idea that maintaining this facade is a difficult, complex process.
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