Noopur Prakash Goel’s “Blue”

Art, by definition, is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture; it produces works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Art is never correct or incorrect, right or wrong, pretty or ugly. Art is unique because a person’s mindset and experiences can influence the way one interprets a piece.

The short film entitled “Blue” by Noopur Prakash Goel, a student and fellow staff member of UCLA’s FEM, features a woman looking at herself in the mirror and painting over her eyes, nose, and leaving her mouth unmarked. What does this mean to you?

Goel’s work examines ways to connect with people and bring focus to the everyday. She shares, “My concept is about overcoming our insecurities when we look at ourselves in the mirror. It talks about painting over our personal expectations and overcoming them so that we can ultimately embrace who we are and achieve our inner goals as individuals.”

To me, “Blue” represents a manifestation of overcoming our conscience and self-criticisms. In the beginning of the video, the woman quickly glances at herself in the mirror, then begins to stroke the brush onto the mirror. Before the brush touches the woman’s reflection, there is no sound. This presents a time in our lives when our insecurities and self-criticisms get the best of us; we hear nothing but silence from the exterior because we are overwhelmingly invested in our own thoughts and criticisms — our negative perceptions of ourselves. However, as the reflection is painted blue, the sound escalates. I interpret this as a time when we overcome our insecurities, thus freeing ourselves from the ball and chain that is our limiting expectations and criticisms. It represents contentment, well-being, and awakening.

I feel that she does not paint over her mouth because she gains a new perspective on life, but does not lose her voice. In doing this, she announces that she has an autonomous voice separate from the expectations she has of herself before overcoming them.

This work of art symbolizes the beautiful transition we undergo as we realize our expectations and criticisms only limit us, and that in order to flourish, we must first allow ourselves to break away from the toxic thoughts we may drown ourselves in.

Goel expresses that “one thing [she loves] about art is it can be interpreted in so many ways and be associated with different experiences or memories from person to person.”

Art is definitely an experience in itself. It is amazing how art can trigger different emotions in different people. Personally, “Blue” has enabled me to realize that the destructive way in which we criticize ourselves is detrimental to who we truly are as individuals, and that we must not carry such a heavy burden.

Allow yourself to grow.

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