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Bachelor of Fine Arts
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DREAMHOUSE is an exploration of the decay of personal memory, and how it can shape identity and understandings of reality. Memory directly connects past and present, is essential for orienting oneself in time and space and in relation to other people, and provides context for most experiences in any moment. Without a relationship to the past, the present cannot make sense, but if we ruminate too much on the failures of memory, they can overwhelm reality and trap us in an altered world within ourselves. Familiarity with my own personal history feels necessary to understanding my identity and recognizing changes in the person that I am, but I feel that my memories have been more difficult for me to access as time passes. DREAMHOUSE addresses and embodies my relationship to the past by inspecting the transformation and deterioration of remembered narratives that can lead to detachment from the self. The process of remembering is abstract, but we use concrete language to grasp onto this mysterious internal function. The notions of “impression” and “imprint” are frequently used as metaphors for memory, and their relevance in DREAMHOUSE through tracing and repetition stems from my practice in printmaking. The work is made of reused textiles with unique origins and emotional impressions, largely drawn from my own archive. I consider artifacts and recycled materials to psychically connect past and present, as a different form of memory. The use of patchwork is parallel to challenges with my mental health, in trying to recall and construct truth using a collection of small pieces, detached from context in themselves, to construct a meaningful whole that can appear completely different from original sources. The simplicity of a recurring figure in motion contrasts with the repetition and effort invested in the process of hand-sewing and cutting, emphasizing the memorialization of a simple narrative over detail and specificity. Sheer shadowlike figures were traced and adhered after a round of colorful applique, acting as a copy of the copy, and simple illustrations trace silhouettes on the wall, introducing detail in a version even further removed from an original and utilizing light as an additional and less tangible dimension. The changes between images in multiple directions is representative of how the mind transforms information over time. This large-scale work, immersive and overwhelming, places the viewer in a world constructed of repeating and transforming images, imitating the experience of being stuck in obsessive loops of failed recollection, which traps us in a location only distantly based on reality.
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