Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Division of the Arts
Project Advisor 1
Over the past four years, I have used the camera to investigate the inner workings of people’s personal worlds. I am fascinated by the physical manifestations of our internal processes - I crave encounters with such precious physical spaces. This project is rooted in the desire to get closer to personal fulfillment. Perfection is unattainable, but as human beings, we strive for fulfillment, endlessly. Personal Utopias are the worlds we build to reach such a state of interconnection.
The camera is my key to entry - both literally and experientially. It allows me to work with each community or person to create strong and descriptive photographs. The photograph itself illustrates the energies, colors, and textures of my understandings and experiences of each environment. As I became closer to these individuals and explored vision after vision, I realized that along with their deep fascinations and belief in the significance of their doings, came the immense desire to share, to captivate, and to inspire. I have become a working agent in this cause, using the photograph to share personal passions.
I created Personal Utopias to cultivate my values, experience those values in action through others and be able to share my findings. I feel it in my core that this project will inspire as it has inspired me. The photograph alone is a beautiful testimony of my experience, but through this exhibition, it is vital for me to give the viewer an understanding of each place through a quote and/or a short description of the location. The gallery installation of this work includes a sensory experience through a structure I built created for two to fit comfortably accompanied by a sound collage of my interviews and field recordings. The act of creating this small scale space was in itself an act of physically constructing my own vision and an example of the dedicated struggle for utopia. The final product is meant to give an intimate sensory experience through comfort, light, and encouragement to cultivate your own dream.
“Let me grow this garden simply because I can. Let me grow it intimately and the point is so often we want to share things with those that critique, we want to share things to convince others and this is saying don’t share, wait. Don’t share until it is ready. In other words, grow it, cultivate it, treasure it, value it, because then it will be of inherent value to you. You won’t be waiting for value to be implied or applied by your neighbor. It will be your garden.” --Leigh McCloskey
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Chappe, Jessica Lauren, "Personal Utopias" (2016). Senior Projects Spring 2016. 228.
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