B.A. of Fine Arts at The University of Kentucky (August 2015- May 2019)
My undergraduate work was fueled by the disillusionment I gained as an millennial young, American woman. I was fortunate to grow up with a diverse, accepting, and loving family. The first president I experienced was the first black president in a country that is still burdened with the repercussions of slavery and institutional racism (such as redlining). I experienced the legalization of gay marriage. I grew up believing that “love wins” and my home is learning from it’s mistakes. My country is constantly moving forward.
In November of 2016, this all changed- Donald Trump became president. Like many others, I felt as if a man who is openly homophobic, racist, and sexist now is what the world will think of when they think of me. I was haunted by words. “Grab her by the pussy,” rang in my ears for months- and still does from time to time. I saw the 'bad guys' win (such as Bret Kavanghan). I heard stories- from my hometown of young Islamic girls who were tormented, told they were terrorists, and had their hijabs ripped from their heads.
As I am heterosexual, caucasian, and raised Catholic, I felt the most personally attacked through the conservative 'war' on women. While all of these social issues haunted me, I felt as if I really only had a voice to speak about the experiences that I went through. This lead me to feel compelled to speak about gender. My work began political. It then moved into a melancholy, yet admirative space. My work was fueled by ideas of third wave feminism and the strong women I have been fortunate enough to know.
My practice was about exploring and questioning an identity of girlhood and womanhood. The work was about asking these questions more so than it was about finding the answers. I have found that the best way to explain my work is through a polaroid picture my mother took of me when I was three. In the picture, I am standing on her bed in a diaper, and one of her brightly colored bras. I had stuffed the bra with toilet paper. Why is it that this young child was thinking about growing breasts and making believe that she was wearing a bra?
My work was centered around creating images the foster a sense of nostalgia. Through creating a sense of nostalgia, I connected women throughout a 20th and 21st century perspective. While all women share a connection, what it means to be a woman is changing every decade. I created images primary through photography, digital media, and printmaking. I also used sculptural fiber arts as a tool to connect to domesticity. My aesthetic included objects and iconography from previous generations. Specifically, the 1950s, 1960s, and the 1970s. I juxtaposed these with poses, stances, and elements of 21st century editorial photography.