MFA Thesis Exhibition Installation View
The University of the Arts
This body of work investigates emotional pain, touching on broader themes of absence, loss, and nostalgia. Through papermaking, printmaking, and bookmaking I explore how the past permanently marks us and the way in which every day losses, both small and large, accumulate over time. Considering different forms of damage and repair, I highlight the futility in attempting to conceal the past. Drawing from both a conceptual and process–oriented practice, my studio investigations focus on developing a visual language with which to address this pain and explore the markings of daily experience.
Handmade paper, translucent Yupo, letterpress; 15 boxes each 8" x 6" x 0.75"
This work consists of fifteen objects resembling books, but instead of pages on the inside they contain an inset box, which holds a piece of handmade paper. In this work the paper within the inset acts as a signifier for the body, a fragment standing in for the whole, suggesting the accumulation and storage of past experiences of pain. The inset box is often used in book conservation and in Trove each one is labeled with a date and age. The objects become a collection of reliquaries, holding a metaphorical piece of the body.
Monotypes on waxed Hosho and Mulberry papers; 24.5” x 17.25”
Monotypes pulled on a Vandercook SP-20. They are created by dropping mineral spirits onto a plexiglass base and allowing the chemicals to break through the ink. The mineral spirits form fluid marks, creating openings that resemble tears or wounds. I fill in the openings with a deeper tones and darker colors to reference scabbing and by waxing the paper I give the print a flesh-like quality. The white gallery wall becomes an examination space, the stark white referencing a clinical environment. Each corner is pulled taut with a T-Pin, alluding to dissection and analysis. These images become specimens on the wall laid out raw for the viewers to inspect.
Installation View of Raw and Whitewash it Away II
Offset printing, pressure printing, and screen printing; 11.75” x 17.25”
Offset lithography prints of a monotype illustrating a tear in clothing with a pressure print over the surface. Throughout the stack of 100 prints, the initial image is slowly covered by a silkscreen of white lace. This piece is an exploration of our obsessive and ultimately future attempts to conceal the past. It is fully realized by the way in which the oil based ink used in offset printing literally bleeds through the layers of white acrylic screen printing ink. This interaction is the residue of process and instead of concealing the mark serves to indicate what is below.
Select prints from Whitewash it Away II, showing the accumulation of screen printing.
During its exhibition I invited visitors to take a print from the stack. As they each removed a print, the tear/wound below becomes more visible and slowly exposed. This mimics the way in which we reveal our past to one another and how we empathize with each other by taking part in a shared experience.
Monotype on waxed Hosho and Mulberry papers; 24.5” x 17.25”
Palliate: (verb) make less severe without removing the cause; disguise the severity or gravity of.
This piece considers the way in which we recover from damage through an investigation of materials and process.
Installation view of Palliate and Through and Through
Waxed handmade paper and sewing thread; 10.75” x 8.5” x 0.5”
The handmade paper is dyed a deep red in order to reference the interior body. Throughout the stack, the pages are perforated with varying force and depth, visually evoking the experience of damage and deterioration. The book begins with very shallow marks that are hardly visible, but as the book progresses the perforations become more noticeable and the waxed paper more vulnerable to breakage. Towards the end of the book I introduce thread as a mending element that holds the page together or as an attempt to fill in holes within the sheet. Sometimes it creates a surface that is just as strong if not stronger than before, while serving as a futile repair in others.