Defense Date

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Fine Arts - Jewelry and metalworking

First Advisor

Susie Ganch

Abstract

As a child growing up, I was always in love with the ritual of “dress up”. Whether it was my dolls, various reluctant pets, or myself, it was always an activity I loved. It is not surprising then that adornment has become the medium through which I express myself and bring my fantasy world to life. Jewelry and accessory have the potential to lead many lives. One particular piece can change entirely by putting it on one body as opposed to another, or by removing it to see it as an object. In fashion, the body is the canvas and the runway becomes the moment of performance. My work uses the body in much the same way where the wearer becomes performer. Through this act, we construct personal forms of armor, or “power suits”, to face the battlefield of the outside world. In harnessing this act of adorning and what it encompasses, I am consistently challenged as both designer and maker. Creating alter egos, whether subtly flirtatious or overtly sexual, demure or flamboyant, are some of the many ways in which these “power suits” can be concocted. The stories we project about ourselves daily, through how we adorn our naked bodies, become empowering. Myths versus reality, ascetic versus sensual, and beautiful versus ugly are some of the concepts from which I draw inspiration. These dualities are conceptually expressed in my work through physical combinations of opposing materials. Mixing mediums, through methods such as collaging, beading, needlepointing, knitting, and sewing, are integral in my designs. With alternative materials, such as feathers, textiles, and yarns, I add softness and new scintillating sensations when juxtaposed with the hard, cold qualities of metal. Through combining such materials, I construct pieces that not only challenge one’s notion of what “pretty” is, but also inspire the way one thinks about body adornment. The objects I create become vessels that actualize the dualities I strive to express. In producing hybrids of materials, my need to explore these dichotomies is satisfied.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013

Included in

Fine Arts Commons

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