Date of Submission
Project Advisor 1
I chose to honor a lifelong impulse to make small objects. As my mother describes: “you've always been self sufficient and could get lost making things in your creative world. You were very independent and perfectly content spending hours entertaining yourself.” “Small Packages” is a collection of work created and installed entirely from my home. I spent a year making drawings and sculptures of a certain scale in order to accumulate enough tiny pieces that, when put together, would produce something impactful. I worked in a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, screenprinting, casting, carving, weaving, felting, and sculpting, and used many materials from childhood, such as sculpey, pipe cleaners, shrinky dinks, and crayons. As an only child with divorced parents and long subway commutes, creative projects were always important to me, but at a certain point they became essential. Having a portable practice meant that I could take my safe place anywhere. When I developed a serious autoimmune disease in highschool, my world became even smaller. Living one’s entire life from home is not new for those with chronic illness. I found great comfort in having control over physical materials and spaces when I had so little control elsewhere. Repetitive mark making became a therapeutic measure, though I never considered it fine art. “Small Packages” is meant to validate the hobbies, crafts, and coping mechanisms that I’ve developed by putting them together to create something substantial.
I originally planned to have an interactive installation at UBS in which people could explore my objects through peepholes, cabinets, and drawers. By placing pieces at different heights, I wanted each viewer to feel as though they could discover secrets that only they were in on, creating a personal, intimate experience even in a public setting. “Small Packages” is still interactive, though the interactivity is now visual, rather than physical. The elaborate sculptural vignettes and detailed drawings sit behind a glass barrier. The drawings and sculptures are displayed from my first floor apartment windows so that anyone who walks by becomes a participant. As the viewer looks closer into the careful arrangements, different narratives emerge. This window display is intended to engage and entertain the viewer, offering an opportunity to project their imagination onto my creations. Recently, windows have been the most important point of access to the outside world, serving both as a means of separation and connection. In light of our new, confined reality, I’m especially eager to show how tiny spaces can feel infinite.
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Harris, Caitlin E., "Small Packages" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 266.
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