Thesis Title

Coping with Burdens

Date of Graduation

Spring 2021

Degree

Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies

Department

Art and Design

Committee Chair

Deidre Argyle

Keywords

coping, burden, grief, illness, sculpture, artists’ books, belief, memory, craft, materiality

Subject Categories

Book and Paper | Ceramic Arts | Fiber, Textile, and Weaving Arts | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Sculpture

Abstract

How to carry and cope with burdensome circumstances beyond my control is the main theme I am currently exploring in my artistic practice. I create art objects and experiences that can elicit an empathetic connection to the realities of living with burdens like grief and chronic illness, or help you to process your own relationship to a wide variety of burdens. Individual pieces explore aspects of how I or close family members cope. My practice is multi-disciplinary and the forms focus on reinterpretation of the book as a sculptural art object or artists’ book. The processes I use are overwhelmingly by hand, and craftsmanship is given attention. This way of making is important to me as a way to honor the memories and experiences that are the subject matter of my work. The materials I choose are mostly natural or reference nature as a reflection on my beliefs. Time and attention spent in my artistic practice serve as a contemplative time, helping me to process my relationship to grief and illness. This practice helps me to make deeper connections to my coping mechanisms, including a deeply held system of belief that is also in the work for viewers to discover.

Copyright

© Jennifer Rose Wolken

Open Access

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