Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
I use objects as sculpture in my attempt to make the intangible, tangible. Objects become a way to remember or go back to the past. These objects are often called souvenirs. Souvenirs are objects that we place meaning in to try to avoid loss. We apply narrative and that gives them value. Without these souvenirs, we fear that the memory will vanish or be lost. Experiencing loss is not just the wish for something to be there, it is also a negation. In other words, when we lose something, it is not that we wish to go back to past events, rather we long for the potential future that has ceased to exist. Souvenirs are not just reminders of the past, but reminders of the lost future that is no longer possible.
In my work each object is a cast of a container, specifically a box. I do not give the actual box; it is a cast, a stand- in for the real thing. This absence creates a longing for the actual thing. A cast essentially is an object trapped in time and marks the space between presence and absence. Gaston Bachelard says home is the ultimate place of intimacy.[i] Furthermore, attics, hidden, deep storage spaces, are the places in homes that evoke these intimate experiences. In my work, hundreds of porcelain slip cast boxes are stacked up to create a structure. They are arranged similarly to the way boxes are stored in an attic to create an intimate space. By casting boxes, I attempt to reveal the intimate. My work evokes a nostalgic response; the desperate desire to return to a time and place that never existed. Though this experience is often accompanied with mourning, it is intrinsic that we do experience this in order to solidify the intangible and immaterial.
[i] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1958), 72
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Helman, Amanda C F, "Objects of Loss" (2015). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 39. https://doi.org/10.7936/K789142R.