Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Throughout our lives, a plethora of influences in some way or another, determine who we are by constructing our identities and the perception of who we are. Understanding this is important as we attempt to discover self, amongst our experiences. My work investigates the way that cultural, familial, environmental, social, and other external factors affect the internal construction of self. The accumulation of imposed influences leaves little room for self which calls to question, “who are we if not for our predisposed circumstances?”. Through the collective use of textures, patterns, and colors found in fabric, the sculptures in this work portray the overwhelming influx of influences. My sculpture includes domestic furniture such as chairs, rugs, and wallpaper as a metaphor between one’s mind and the foundational elements of a home. That is to say, the mind is the home of every person. In a response to the sculptures, the paintings depict an awareness and internalization of self which appear as formed spiritual and sacred entities. The titles of this work become very important as they represent two different high and low understanding of self. The sculpture titles are relative to specific dates and places or events, which are influential but not an internalized version of self . These moments are significant as they are chaotic and represent times when understanding of self is being pulled in every direction. The other half of the work, the paintings, are simply titled with single names of people. My intention with this work is to evoke a desire in the viewer to investigate their understanding of self and acknowledge their overwhelming amount of identities and personalities that construct them.
Shuford, Serra Raven, "External Influences and Internal Construction of Self" (2019). All Theses. 3204.