Author

Abby Bennett

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Richard Saxton

Second Advisor

Yumi Roth

Third Advisor

Alvin Gregorio

Fourth Advisor

Jeanne Quinn

Abstract

What objects do you cherish? Where and in what do you find comfort? What stories do you tell yourself to help begin to understand your life? How are those stories anchored and reflected in the things you surround yourself with - furniture, photos, family memorabilia, that particular wall sconce? And at some level, doesn't this constellation of objects and the narratives they are bound up with end up influencing your most intimate understanding; your ideals and values down to what "home" is and means? Don't the things in our lives and the stories we associate with them go a long way in establishing who we believe ourselves to be?

When I was young my family established itself in the outskirts of Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1988, my grandfather began clearing the family land to design and build houses. What started as small developments quickly grew into several suburban neighborhoods. Many years of my childhood was spent around these building sites, watching and learning. I observed the entire process of creation, from the initial design to the final nail. It was through watching these building sites that my interest in the process of mechanical creation began. And it was here that I first started to ask myself, what a house is and what makes a house a home, is it the wood, nails and bolts or something else? These same kinds of questions are still being raised and considered in my work.

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