Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Craft/Material Studies

First Advisor

Heath Matysek-Snyder


There is always a moment, within the act of work, when the decision comes into question; the mind is aware of the goal, seeking out the destination, but the body brings the reality of the task to light, at first whispering its doubts, then speaking in full volume. The physical intensity of the creation of my work enlivens this debate between the consciousness of my intellect and the limitations of my being. The act of defining myself as an artist serves as a challenge to my body’s capabilities as a maker. Through this relationship with my work, I have become deeply intimate with the term labor. My thesis aims to contextualize my engagement with labor within the universal understanding that human beings possess an inherent need to work. While the interchangeable use of terms such as work and labor is highly disputed, I have found that my role as artist, actions as maker, and identity as worker persuade me to define my work as labor and my labors as work. This subsequent body of work serves as a record of the actions of the laborer. A floor sits; frozen in the process of installation, it awaits the return of the laborer to complete the work. Through the cyclical conversation between the workers’ voices embroidered upon the wall and the work being performed on the floor, the installation serves as the preserved space of the anonymous laborer.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013