Date of Award

Spring 2019

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)




Trauma is defined as the emotional and or psychological response to a deeply disturbing event. When looking at domestic, familial and generational trauma, however, it is not a singular event but a thread through a lifetime or even generations. When it accumulates and goes beyond one person or body, that trauma can embed itself deeply and go neglected and unaddressed. Despite this, trauma is not invisible, and it is not silent. It festers in the mind and surfaces on the body. In Bodies of Empathy, I discuss my body of work which attempts to come to terms with my own past trauma in the context of womanhood, culture, and family. But what does it mean to “come to terms” with trauma? And how do you begin to grasp and heal something neglected for years? I have broken up my own way of dealing with these questions into three parts: realization, process, and reconciliation. However, these parts are not linear, and they are in constant conversation. The resulting work is a collection of forms made from repetition, contemplation, and time. I view these forms as bodies that are receptive to marks, like how the female body is a vessel that carries and passes the past. Though the following work may be in its final form and presentation, my process of healing and creating empathy is a continuous journey.

Mentor/Primary Advisor

Michael Byron