We continue our profile of the 2016 Gold Medal Portfolio recipients with a look at two students who are making names for themselves with innovative fabric manipulation techniques and inspired prose. Meet Adam Gowan and Fiona Jungmann:
Adam Gowan is from Toronto, Canada, and attends Etobicoke School of the Arts.
“Existence flows from dust to dust. All that is created is inevitably destroyed, only to rise from the ashes of its past self. Life is an emanation of this divine cycle. Looking out at the vastness of the universe, we must consider that the stars, planets, and galaxies are made from the same dust that forms our bodies. In this way, we are all one.”
Excerpt from “Life of Pi II”
I had always been an atheist. In all my life, I never questioned my religious beliefs. I saw religion as a way people justified their intolerance with primitive theories, which undermined the advances of modern science. I thought everything we needed to know could be understood through the scientific analysis of our sensory observations. There was no God.
I met Yann Martel in the summer of 2013. His wife worked with my dad, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet him, and tell him how much I had enjoyed the film adaptation of his novel, Life of Pi. In response, he told me to read the novel, half-joking that it was “better,” than the film.
In the beginning of the novel, Pi’s uncle, whom he calls Mamaji, says, “I have a story that will make you believe in god.” (Martel, Life of Pi) In my reading, the story lived up to this claim. Life of Pi made me believe in god.
“The Blue Bag”
The door is closed. Its handle Beckons me forward.
Stars cycling Through my mind Die.
I reach out, twist, And enter the room.
A large blue bag Rests on the bed.
I step forwards.
The bag falls open, Revealing her face.
Mouth ajar, Lips cracked, Limbs limp As a withered flower, Body framed By the unnatural blue of the bag.
She lays submerged In the moment Before the storm.
A wisp of hair, Forms a halo Around her tired head.
I bend over to kiss her, Breathe in the Rot, And she is cold as stone.
Fiona Jungmann is from Andover, MA, and attends Andover High School.
“I am most often inspired by fabrics that I have lying around, rather than visualizing and then searching for the “perfect” fabric for a piece. When I find or create an interesting fabric, my mind turns it over for a couple days until I can easily tell what designs will work with it. With this process, I often surprise myself with unusual techniques. For example, much of my portfolio uses quilting as a design element. My grandmother has a crushing obsession with making precise quilts that takes hours upon hours to create. I never thought I would ever subjugate myself to the ‘repetitive torture’ of quilting, but I realized I could create a design with black thread and leftover batting, and from there I was lost in the pleasure of making garments out of thick and cuddly quilted material.”
To see more Gold Medal Portfolio recipients, past and present, visit our Eyes on the Prize series.