Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Visual Arts

Committee Member

Anderson Wrangle, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Todd McDonald

Committee Member

Todd Anderson

Abstract

In this work, I am expressing a deep compulsion to return home. It elicits a sense of nostalgia to return to what once was. The home described in the series is rooted in the landscape and specifically in the creek where I spent much of my time as a child. The work is a type of self-portraiture through my family and the landscape that speaks to my personal identity. As a child, I thought of the creek as being a natural paradise where I could go to escape people. In my mind, nature was isolated and separate from humans. In returning to this place as a graduate student, I recognized that the mythology I had created in my mind about the creek was unrealistic. By collecting excess rainwater the very function of the creek is to support inhabitability in the surrounding neighborhood. The photographs in the series alternate between constructed narrative and documentary. Similarities in formal arrangement, subject, and scale form image groups within my thesis series. The overarching narrative is supported by images that depict a journey to childhood paradise, reconstruct my memory of this place, and document the place as it exists now. The construction of place is observed in images that reference my fixed memory of the creek. My nephews and my mother are used in the series to signify past and future versions of myself. I am describing a transient landscape through representations of past, present, and future views of the land. By reconstructing my home and casting my family members in the series, I have created an autobiographical series centered on the landscape. Through my personal experience of place, my work reflects the relationship between humans and the environment.

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