Term of Award

Spring 2000

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Jane Pleak

Committee Member 1

Julie McGuire

Committee Member 2

Patricia Carter

Abstract

This gathering of work is a narration of the events and experiences in my life. It illustrates how certain unsavory events in my life have come full circle and have forced me to face real truths. To simply acknowledge these truths, I peel back layers of time, reflect, examine, and confront them through my art. For me, the process of making art has always been a cathartic, healing experience. I have used the figure as a form of self expression, because of the personal nature of my work.

I am drawn to clay as a creative material, mostly because its plastic properties enhance the fluidity of the figure. After the clay figure is fired, it becomes something tangible and real, as witness to my personal experiences. Several works are purposely humorous. They were created to laugh about fond memories, while others were created to laugh at appalling truths. I have learned that having a sense of humor is the best way to handle the suffering and problems of life; therefore, I try to suggest a level of humor through the distortions in my figures.

Another reason 1 enjoy the clay is because 1 enjoy the tactile nature of it. I prefer to leave my mark in the contact with the material. The creative artist, Anne Truitt, in her diary/book Turn, speaks of the similarities between making art and being a mother. As a mother, I enjoy the hands on responses with my children: a hug, a kiss, a gentle touch on the back for encouragement. As an artist, I often go through similar measures to make a work of art. I climb ladders to reach high areas; I mold surfaces to bond them together; I scrutinize the texture as it is applied to the surface; and, I caress the surface as I step back to critique my work. Just like children, clay can often be unpredictable. As Truitt, I also find a type of joy in the forming of a work of art. Perhaps the flexibility and unpredictability is what keeps my work fresh and my interest renewed.

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