Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Studio Arts

Project Advisor 1

Julianne Swartz

Abstract/Artist's Statement

I began this year with the desire to write down my own creation myth, and find a way to tell the story so that others could understand it. I was thinking a lot about where mythology exists in the contemporary world, and I came to the idea that instead of cultural mythologies, today we each invent personal creation stories based on our own significant experiences. That we perhaps guide ourselves through life by means of these stories just as groups of people sometimes lead their lives based on a common belief in one entity or set of tenets.

However, I stumbled upon this story without thinking about this original intention at all. By the middle of first semester, I had become so involved in working on installation that I’d forgotten all of the lofty ideas for senior project with which I had begun the year. I started writing the story as a script for a short video that I could create in a couple of weeks, but I soon realized that telling this story would take far longer than that. I began it with thoughts of fairy tales and children's stories, of worlds where you can draw on a wall and what you draw becomes real; where the love of your life falls into your world from out of the sky; and where there are such things as flying dogs. It took me some time to understand that the story I had written was not pure fiction and fantasy, but that I had done what I originally set out to do: I had written my own "creation myth" using characters, symbols and worlds that were hard for even me to recognize as being deeply personal.

There are three parts to my exhibition. The first is the "final product" of all of this writing and making: a video piece that attempts to tell this story in as simple a way as possible. The next is an installation that served as the set for some of the scenes within the video. The final piece is a process book that contains the text of the story in its entirety, along with the storyboard from which I created the video, and photogravures made from stills taken from the video.

This is a story about birth and motherhood, about creation and control over what you create, about loss of control. About great love and great loss and what you are left with when all you have is the shadow of something beautiful that once was. This is a story about growing up.

My greatest desire with what I make is to tell the truth as best I can, and to give something lasting to those that view my work. While art can be and is in some ways an inherently selfish act, it can also be incredibly generous. In a world where so many forces act against beauty, joy and love for life, I am seeking to create objects, spaces and stories that give joy and that speak to the viewer and let them speak back. I hope to have made things that honor the incredible and the beautiful and the magical parts of the many worlds and people around us, whether they are places where dogs walk on leashes or where they can fly through the cosmos in search of love.

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