Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program

Studio Arts

Project Advisor 1

Julianne Swartz

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Artist Statement Studio Arts:

For this installation the goal was to create a lighthouse over 10ft tall, that had a moving light at the top- as well as with a fully furnished, wallpapered, waxed wooden floor- created to look inhabited by people. Surrounded by plastic vinyl to give the illusion of water, with claymation characters inhabiting the space inside, as well as a hooded man on a boat swaying in the water. There are five levels to the lighthouse, firstly a kitchen living room, secondly a bedroom, thirdly a golden bathroom with its own clawfoot tub, above this a attic space designed to house one more person, and finally the top of the lighthouse designed with rails and a blinding light that rotates slowly around. Surrounding the lighthouse in the room is a couple of key details that bring the space together. The floor painted a light blue coming up four inches on the wall around the entire room, a projection onto the wall of the stop motion film created in the world of the lighthouse, as well as the introduction to the film and the characters. The main thing lighting the room is the lighthouse, the lights spilling out through the port windows around the room, the light looks blue and yellow from the doorway. Finally the last key features the music, other than the soundtrack of the sea, and the rain coming from the stop motion film a beautiful voice echoes throughout the room, filling it with nostalgia and memories. The voice of my grandmother singing and playing the piano, beautiful jazz very few people have heard or remember. The sounds alone draw people into the room and it creates an escape from the feelings outside.

The idea for this whole project happened fast, but the thought of using a lone lighthouse has always been a daydream I would find myself wandering into whenever I felt alone, or felt like I had nowhere else to go. Why is it here? Where is it supposed to be? What are the names of the characters? These questions have no real answers, and never will. The feelings and emotion are there, the space without trying to- truly create a space people naturally feel at home in and mystified by. The on-looker could just look at the front of the lighthouse and leave, but if they turn the corner behind the lighthouse golden light falls upon their face in awe as their eyes can barely look around fast enough to see this surprise. They see the details of each room, of each tiny piece of furniture hand upholstered, of the small details many people miss but some people find. In the lighthouse there's so many secrets to find, and depending on what you are looking for you'll find it, a detail people often miss are the miniature photo frames that hold photos of my Babushka, the woman singing throughout the room, her as a twenty two year old, as well as her own mother the fur trader. These details, while small, hold the entire piece together. Things are left empty to let people attach their own memories to the space and to the art in it, but to me this piece holds something integral to who I am. The idea that we never are without our mothers, grandmas, and great grandmothers and their effects on us with or without our realizing it. Through our own memories, through there's, through mannerisms the way we process emotions, through the way we love, through the way we cry, our ancestors are present through our DNA as well as through our state of being. Ancestral trauma also comes into the fold as suffering carries deep into the roots of family and blood. The way women are treated before and after pregnancy affects the children, and therefore affects their children's children. My grandmother, my babushka who sings so beautifully in this space, was domestically abused by her husband so badly she got memory loss. By letting her voice echo in this room it feels liberating, it feels like her story would be forgotten like so many women before her trauma goes unseen, this piece is my way of seeing that pain and hearing her voice. Remembering who she was, not what was done to her.

This installation and the stop motion film that accompanies it, is my dream that I could have met these women who came before me, my babushka, my great grandma- women I’ve been told my entire life are so much like me both in looks and in spirit. The dream to create a world where we could have met and lived together far away from men, far away from trauma. In a world encapsulated in time. Safe from the horrors of this world where my Babushka lives in a lighthouse in the middle of the sea, painting, singing, cooking and laughing with me. This piece is for her, it’s for all of the women before me who made me who I am without ever having met me, making me who I am.

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