Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2018

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type



I’m interested in the way we read images—they way we see through an image’s surface in order to perceive its illusion, in the same way that we see through words in order to understand their meaning. I’m interested in this relationship, in both images and texts, between surface, illusion, and meaning. In Buddhist philosophy, the source of suffering is in our attachments to the self-as-image. The function of Zen meditation practice is to bring attention to this process of perception and, in doing so, to help see through the illusions of self-hood and ground our understanding in the reality of physical experience. In meditation practice, there is equanimity in accepting the paradox of the image—that its deeper meaning lies in neither surface nor illusion, but in the experience of seeing through.

In this thesis, I’m looking at the intersection of my creative and meditative practices over the past several years, focusing on projects where I have tried to incorporate the structure and awareness of meditation into my image-making. Using repetition and effacement as aesthetic interventions, I’m trying to challenge the conventional way we read images. By approaching my work as both an artist and a Buddhist, I hope to interrogate not only the paradox of the image, but also the paradox of the self, and the nature of identity, history, and suffering.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Thesis Advisor

Buzz Spector

Studio/Primary Advisor

Heather Bennett

Studio/Primary Advisor

Lisa Bulawsky

Committee Member

Tobias Zuern

Committee Member

Tobias Zuern

Artist's Statement

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