Date of Graduation

Spring 2023


Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies


Art and Design

Committee Chair

Deidre Argyle


Taking something whole, breaking it apart, and making it into another form of wholeness is the essence of both papermaking and grief. The papermaking process involves separation, maceration, and forming of new life; the grieving process involves a similar evolution. Creating this body of work has been a pursuit of continuation—a part of me forming new life. Using papermaking processes, I create work that is visually quiet. The details are only noticeable through sustained attention and close proximity. The quiet visual qualities are intended to create a viewing experience that is meditative and slow. The lack of details of the material world is meant to encourage viewers to look within rather than focus on what is on the surface, just as I do when creating them. As viewers linger with my work they are basked with a warm, gentle glow that illuminates through the paper. I use light to symbolize hope and offer a form of reciprocation for those who choose to slow down with the work. The quiet qualities stand as antithetical to the contemporary visual culture and consumption habits.


papermaking, grief, continuation, healing, natural fibers, meditation, light, quiet visuals

Subject Categories

Art and Materials Conservation | Art Practice | Art Therapy | Book and Paper | Fiber, Textile, and Weaving Arts | Interactive Arts | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media


© Shauna Le Ann Smith

Open Access