Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art

First Advisor

Kevin L. Turner, M.F.A.

Second Advisor

Susan Palmisano, M.F.A.

Third Advisor

B.A. Harrington, M.F.A.

Abstract

Inspiration for the Masters of Fine Arts thesis show Equipoise: Balance on the Borders came from personal experiences and observations of developing or disintegrating relationships. Drawing from these, the works of this exhibition showcase the impact of isolation and communication on the development or disintegration of relationships. Inspired by the social commentary and material techniques of earthworks artists and modern ceramicists, these works combine the presence of the monolith with the delicacy of the shell. The pieces that form Equipoise: Balance on the Borders consist of earthenware forms finished with primarily monochrome glaze effects and staged to create landscape scenes that juxtapose the fragility and strength of the medium and reference the parallels of strength and fragility in human social landscapes. These artworks feature multi-part arrangements on single pedestal presentations to create a series of relationship vignettes. The intimacy of the pedestal invites the viewer to come close and examine in depth the intricate balance of a relationship environment while still presenting the show as a whole set of connected but separate experiences. As a result, the show as a whole presents a multifaceted display of the impact that physical and emotional connections can have on relationships. Through the strategic use of balance, contrast, and tension, these sculptures serve as a metaphor for conflicts and connections between and within individuals, and express the precariousness and fragility of the human social condition.

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