University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Art

School of Art Galleries


Medium: Acrylic and Mixed Media on canvas
Date: 2020
Dimensions: 30″ x 40″

McKenna Lockwood

I focus much of my artistic effort on trying to understand and connect with the natural world, and octopuses are an object of particular fascination for me. They are intelligent, inquisitive, sophisticated creatures, masters of their domain. Scientists have recently theorized that each of an octopus’ tentacles has a “mind of its own,” calling into question established beliefs about the self. This piece explores the mystique of the animal by playing with vibrant color and dimensional space, and its scale attempts to capture a sense of majesty. I employed several techniques beyond painting to draw the viewer into the interdimensional space – including photo transfer and sewing – making the process of this work an exploration of materials for me as well. Octopuses occupy their own world, much of which we do not understand, and perhaps it is not for us to understand. Regardless, they deserve our respect and admiration.