My thesis exhibition is focused on exploring a wide range of the ways we engage with empathy while I empathetically engage with the materials I use to create them. I work with a range of hard and soft materials, and I am interested in how the objects and support devices can accommodate or be accommodated by each other’s interactions. There are limits to each medium’s ability and desire to support the other in the same way people have their own boundaries within relationships.
The 4 main installations all contain a ceramic object, a fabric form, a support structure made of either steel or wood, and finally surrounded by wallpaper that encapsulates the environment. The 5th installation is a series of seven leaning areas titled "A Space to Rest" where the viewer is invited to use the foam padded upholstered forms to accommodate parts of their body while they are in the space.
I Always Feel Better Once We're Together, Embraced in Each Other
In this installation, I was thinking about balanced, empathetic partnerships. The two forms are made up of different materials, one hard and one soft that accommodate each other in juxtaposing ways. They are cradled together in a supportive structure that holds them without restricting them. Made from a mix of hard and soft materials, stretchy and fixed, covered with carefully hand stitched details that close the form in the most sensitive way. It is saturated with the craft skills passed down to me by the women in my family, and represents crafting as a means of care. Each stitch that went into the structure, seen and unseen, goes into providing the thousands of small supportive moments. Both of the forms are hugging one another, providing support and comfort. If either object were removed, the remaining form would still receive enough support from the structure they are in to be okay.
All of the patterns in my thesis exhibition are self-designed and are made with colors I find in pictures taken while documenting colorful, ephemeral moments around us. Sunrises and Sunsets, fields of flowers and collected sea glass are some examples of these moments.
I utilize wallpaper on the walls and floors to quickly reimagine the gallery space, not allowing the work to simply be objects in space. I am creating snippets of a joyful and colorful invitation to a space that other people can enter and interact with. I am showing the intimacy and softness of home while in a public space.
I Feel Squished and Overwhelmed, But I Guess It's Okay
My approach to crafting is an example of how traditional women’s crafts can be adapted to modern materials and techniques, and incorporated into historically male dominated materials while still retaining their feminine essence. Shaping and molding materials through an intimate discussion reflects a deep understanding and appreciation of the material, resulting in pieces that are visually aesthetic but also tactile and meaningful.
Let's Sit Together For A Little
The center installation allows the viewer to directly interact with the work by providing comfort in the form of a resting area and as supporting forms. It also allows multiple people to be seated within the installation at once, and it begins thinking about how we can provide support and comfort to people in a community.