Date of Award
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
In my life, I have developed several practices in attempt to preserve my memories in a way that I can relive them, knowing exactly how I felt at the time. Two of these practices are the practice of frequently journaling, and the practice of keeping objects for their sentimental value. For my thesis, I used journal entries and sentimental objects as a starting point for creating a metaphor for how I process emotions in my life. I created a quilt out of 36 excerpts of journal entries from throughout college to symbolize the way it is comforting to me to go back and condense abstract emotion into something I can grasp. I also created a book chronicling objects I have kept for their sentimental value and the memories I am trying to preserve through keeping them. I placed these two pieces in a cozy installation setting together, allowing viewers to sit with the objects, creating a vulnerable space through the highly personal and emotional texts in the work. Psychological research suggests that vulnerability is the gateway to empathy; applied to my work, viewers feel empathy towards me when they read about my emotional experiences. Other artists use a similar tactic of displaying their most personal experiences, such as Iviva Olenick, Nan Goldin, and Tracey Emin. This vulnerable method of art-making emphasizes the cathartic nature of exposing one’s deepest emotions, and also allows for the viewer to empathize with these emotions and heal as well.
Davis, Isabelle, "Tracing Patterns: Making Sense of Experience" (2018). Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers. 44.