Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Kathleen Thum

Committee Member

Todd McDonald

Committee Member

Dr. Andrea Feeser


The intersections between Buddhism, queerness, and art making support one another in their power to unveil the impermanent nature of the self. My work rests at these moments, taking refuge in the ability to simultaneously release and rebuild a sense of self that exists beyond the boundaries of individualism. To Be a Cloud documents my journey of looking into the origins of the self and reflecting upon the transience of body and mind. Utilizing a broad range of sensuous materials such as textiles, handmade paper, and charcoal, paired with the repetitive motions of stitching, tearing, and mark-making cultivate a rhythmic meditation in the studio. Scale that shifts from large and immersive to intimate and hand-held bring this physicality into the gallery space for the viewer to engage. The figure is queered by withholding sex and gender markers and further anonymized by removing many of their heads. Death or decay imagery such as decapitated figures or sores also ground the works in a visceral ephemerality.

This work is informed by extended research into Buddhist, sociological, and psychological theories of the self and its origins. Reflecting on this research drives my creative process to meditate on my own understandings of selfhood. Through my artwork I am relearning what it means to be a person, to be queer, and to be an artist by deconstructing my previously held beliefs. Through the act of creation, I also affirm an emotional and bodily existence that instinctually craves stability by providing a sense of healing through the act of carefully rendering lines and mending the figure. Finding safety in making, I can comfortably leave myself and my viewers with no final answers but endless questions about the self.

Included in

Fine Arts Commons



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