Date of Submission

Spring 2020

Academic Program

Studio Arts

Project Advisor 1

Lisa Sanditz

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Why do some have access while others do not?

Think about your answer, don’t say it aloud.

To say it out loud is a privilege which we have and others do not.

Two ways to see it: what are you restricted from and others have access to?

Or: what do you have access to which others are restricted from?

Each of us are unique compilations of acquired knowledge.

Which is based on the availability and limitations of opportunities.

The unfortunate hierarchy of the world is decided by education and wealth.

Education is not freely available.

We are all told “you are free to make your own decisions”.

I can, but only within the preexisting and predefined constraints.

Imposed restrictions on people create divisions among us.

I abide by them, we all do… to some extent.

Perhaps we could all stand to question the inequality of privilege and access.

The purpose of barriers and borders warped into inequalities and divisiveness.

We are confined by birthplace, religion, biology, physiology, and more.

Each of us are unique individuals who are confined by involuntary precedents.

Factors beyond human control are not fair grounds to dictate who has access.

So why does each barrier apply to some people and not others?

Ask yourself, are can and can’t black and white?

My art aims to capture details from the chaotic train of thoughts in my mind when thinking about the current state of divisiveness. Extracting the specific opportunities and privileges I possess became the driving source of subject matter in my project. There are many advantages I have that others simply do not have; there are also privileges I can have that others can’t and vice versa. On what basis does the difference in accessibility exist? I am concerned with boundaries where the requirement for admittance is not available to everyone due to uncontrollable factors—including gender, citizenship, religion, birthplace, and economic status. It is not my intention to paint said criteria as stagnant, you are certainly able to alter them. However, I do hope you as the viewer and reader question why the measurement of entry is based on factors which each persona decides for themselves or biology has decided for them.

While at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, I found that it exemplified the boundaries I am restricted by as well as ones I have access through, which others do not. My tape drawing of the Wall conjured thoughts of citizenship, nationality, gender, and religion all in one space. In order to see the Western Wall one must be allowed to enter Israel, which not all people can do because of their nationality. The wall is also located in the Jewish quarter of the old city, therefore some people may not enter based on their religious views and familial background. Once you finally make it to the wall, there are two entrances with a divider between the male and female sides.

The processes and materials in each installation was purposeful and relevant to the concept. Applying tape to the walls allows me to balance working intuitively and within the confinement of the tape lines. An important part of my process is for my hand to be present in the feeling of the lines. I am able to achieve my drawings by using an additive method and subtractive—not only does it allow me to work within the space of the material, it also emphasizes the conceptual nature of my work.

Each wall in the gallery space features an installation crucial to my process and the end result. The barbed wire piece is meant to reference both concentration camps and modern-day incarceration. The last step in my development of this piece was the removal of the installed barbed wire, leaving the sketches and outlines of the shadows; representing the memory of imprisonment challenging the long-standing tradition of people locking other human beings away.

At the beginning of my process, I was most excited about the opportunity to work at such a large scale—completing work over 20’ wide. Unfortunately, my project was not able to come to fruition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the struggles of abandoning my studio and the gallery space, I was able to come to terms with reality and continue my work at home in Oregon. The end result is composed of renderings of what the finished product would have looked like.

Despite our global circumstance of COVID-19 and it’s impact on our world; I choose to feel proud of my work and thankful for my opportunity to share my process with my family. The walls which divide us will serve as a reminder to me of the privilege I witness through art and the education I’ve had thus far.

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