Semester of Graduation

August 2018

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

College of Art and Design

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The term ‘metanoia’ embodies a climactic moment on the precipice—an instance where one is confronted by the tremendous threshold between youth and maturation. Moments of Metanoia explores these experiences that create an overwhelming division between the way things were and the way things will be. They are the crystallizing moments of metamorphosis or the shattering moments of undoing. As evidenced by their thematic appearances in ancient mythology, these dramatic episodes of transformation have existed as a part of the human condition for millennia. By using Greek mythology to explore metanoia, the universality of the human experience is emphasized. Each piece in Moments of Metanoia hones in on a moment of metanoia as personified by a figure from ancient Greek mythology. The figures selected for the exhibition include Persephone, Clytia, Alecto, Endymion, Atlas, Mnemosyne, and Orpheus. Greek mythology has been a recurring theme in the tradition of art with most subjects of the myths appearing only in idealized form. In Moments of Metanoia, the selected mythological entities are approached differently. The work is visually inspired by fashion aesthetics, with source imagery for preliminary collage sketches deriving directly from fashion magazines. This enables traditional elements of Greek mythology to be recontextualized through a contemporary visual lexicon. Furthermore, focus is placed on constructing abstract forms that are approachable, and more intimate to bridge the divide between subject and viewer. Tactility is a prime vehicle for facilitating intimacy. Thus, each mythological figure becomes soft sculptures, at once sensuous and accessible, and viewers are encouraged to physically touch and feel the work in the exhibition. This allows each piece to inhabit a tangible reality through which shared experiences and rites of passages can be explored and contemplated. The pieces in Moments of Metanoia are reminders of the ties that bind us, proving we are all more alike than we are different.

Date

6-6-2018

Committee Chair

Walsh, Michaelene

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