Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Article

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Kim Dickey

Second Advisor

Jeanne Quinn

Third Advisor

Scott Chamberlin

Abstract

What separates human from animal? What borders exist between the real and the imagined, the beautiful and the repugnant, the living and dying, the creator and the made? These questions have driven my recent work.

Through the act of making, I swim in and around these margins, revealing how slippery the answers to these questions are. Icreate animals that blur species boundaries. They challenge the perceived order and comfortable classifications of life. These animals are tricksters; familiar but also alien, seductive but also scary, animal but also human, alive but also dead. In a world where petals mimic fur and hair impersonates bone, even materials upset their expected roles. These creatures are not to be trusted, for as soon as we identify with them, we admit that perhaps the definitions they upturn are not so clearly defined as we would like to think.

Material and process are the tangible means through which Icontemplate the lines separating these opposing worlds. I use inanimate materials that rely on touch to take shape. I sculpt and articulate animal forms to generate a semblance of life. The fleshy coverings are meticulously and lovingly applied, allowing me to both control and understand the figure as it comes into existence. The labor I exert over the animal becomes an empathetic gesture. As the creature comes to life, the line between myself as the maker and the material as the object softens.

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