Term of Award

Spring 2006

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Art

Committee Chair

Patricia J. Walker

Committee Member 1

Thomas P. Steadman

Committee Member 2

Peter Smith

Abstract

Over the past years, my work has been based on a desire to depict the spiritual and physiological interdependence humans have with the wetland ecosystem. As I examine the shapes of trees and their roots through rubbings, paintings, and sculpture, I sought to express this interaction between humans and nature. My artwork metamorphosed from the traditionally separated forms of painting and sculpture into an environment. The transformation of natural materials into manufactured products led me to cultivate a deeper understanding of ecology, where humans are participants in the natural process of the life cycle. Nature becomes the primary subject and humans are mere participants, the secondary subject. In earlier times, people lived among nature; today, most reside in cities that are isolated from nature. Fear of the unfamiliar prevents most humans from developing a close relationship with the wetlands. Universal interconnectedness requires humans to reflect on nature. Through my art, I aim to cultivate conscious and unconscious awareness of human dependence on nature. It is my ambition to encourage dialogue among all people about nature. I am encouraged by public recognition of the need to protect and sustain the scope of nature necessary for earth's survival. We have the power to save nature through regulation if we only use that power. The planet does not belong to humans; humans depend on and belong to the planet Earth.

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