Ready for Thesis.
Ready for Thesis?
Both the same set of words, yet one obviously a statement and the latter a question. Currently I am at the second and working towards the bold, strong, statement that is the first.
My show, Blue: A love affair is finally up and nearly ready to go. The photographs are all pretty much set where they are with a few tweaks to be presented here and there. I painted an entire wall blue, which wasn’t as daunting as one might think and it came out surprisingly a beautiful, solid, fresh navy blue.
The show will be up all this week, until Saturday with a closing reception happening at 6:30pm on Friday in Byers gallery. If you’re around, come check it out and say hello.
Now it’s time to start really working into my thesis. I’ve been planning to use appropriated imagery and reprinting them through alternative photo processes like salt printing or Van Dyke printing to create a new composition, so the work I recently completed for Blue, technically was very helpful in getting me ready to work in those processes. Content wise I am still struggling as far as where exactly I will go. I know I’d like to discuss my family and fabricated memories built through photographs, but just how I will do that is still up in the air.
I grew up in a great home in a wonderful region of the Pocono Mountains of North East Pennsylvania. I spent a lot of time outdoors with my sister and brother, played sports, had a ton of friends, and great parents that supported me in academics, arts, and after school sports. There are moments in my childhood, however, that things were not so picture perfect. Moments that are lost and unrepresented in the photographs that fill the family albums in my parents home. I wonder what role photography can play in exploring these lost memories and how they have effected me emotionally. My relationship with my Dad has always been a rocky one. Two strong Type A personalities with a ton of things to say just generally don’t get along super well and as I got older I got less and less patient with my father and more eager to argue back with him when the opportunity arose. (Very typical teenager of me you’d say, but the arguing definitely stemmed from things that are rooted much deeper). Despite this, my Dad is an amazing man. A hard worker, who has sacrificed immensely for my family and in ways that I will never be able to repay him for, but in his efforts to provide he also became absent. I’ve always been proud to say my dad is a fire fighter- a hero to me and my siblings and even to strangers, but the long shifts and far commute didn’t always make a ton of time for being at home with family.
As an artist and in general, I have never really taken the time to think about all of these dynamics that have been created within my family and the way they have effected me. And as stated previously, I have never been one to make highly emotional or personal work, but grad school is all about change and challenging yourself right? So here are some of the questions I am asking myself and ideas I am trying to work through as I navigate through my own personal narrative in efforts to create new work.
What does it mean for someone to be physically present in life but also absent emotionally?
How can I express my own perspective on my childhood without being insensitive to my family?
My dad being a fire fighter has always been something I am extremely proud of, but it also kept him away from getting to know me and my siblings better, how has that changed or challenged me growing up? How can that be brought forward in a visual and physical object?
How does having such a similar personality to my Dad effect me? What does it mean to me to be so much like him?
What do I want to portray or say about my childhood?
What memories do I want to explore? How can I explore them without be exploitative?