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In this body of work, I explore the concept of identity especially in the way it relates to how we see ourselves and how others view us. In my video, I share my own experience of shedding a part of my outer self to create room for a new part of me to show. The photo collage is a combination of my own painting and photography and is appropriately names Stuck in an Oil Painting. My final piece is a collection of street photography that I took while abroad in Florence, Italy. The connections can be seen among the people in the photos, but there are even more connections being created behind the camera. The most important part about creating art for me is to find beauty in the ordinary.

Semester Completed

Spring 2019


De Pere, WI


photography, videography, collage, performance art, identity, connections, Italy


Art and Design

Artist Statement

I have a passion for both traditional art and digital art mediums. When I create art, I want it to be eye catching and invoke contemplative thought. I often use abstraction to tell a story. I use the human figure to explore concepts of identity.

I take other people’s portraits and try to creatively take my own, while experimenting with the settings on my camera. I consider my photography as a painterly. The lines are often blurred and a lot more work goes into it than just a click of a button. Stuck in an Oil Painting is a piece where I combined a portrait with an oil painting I made. The photo and painting were both pieces that could stand alone, but when the layers came together, they created something even more visually pleasing.

As my work changes, my questions about identity evolve. For me, identity has a lot to do with beauty, and recently, I have been less focused on outward beauty and more on inner beauty. My video, Self-Identity, explores how the simple act of cutting one’s hair can trigger a variety of emotions including confidence, clarity, and a sense of balance. By losing control of one thing, a person somehow gains control of something else entirely.

The photography series, Connections, is another example of this exploration in identity and beauty in the ordinary. This series was taken in 2017, when I lived in Florence, Italy. I would wander the city with my camera in tow and capture fleeting moments of human interaction.

As I continue to create, identity is still a big part of my work. I believe that our identities evolve and it is important for us to continually reflect on how we have changed and where we have room to grow.


Copyright Morgan Pennings

Morgan Pennings, Senior Art Exhibition Portfolio