Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Craft/Material Studies

First Advisor

Alfred Blair Clemo

Second Advisor

Kelcy Chase Folsom

Third Advisor

Tracy Spencer-Stonestreet


Among those that are ill for long periods, there is often a mistrust created not only in one’s own body but in the institution that promises a cure to the malady. Often this stems naturally from the dogma of the institution paired with one’s desire for wellness, for the institution's goals are many besides the overall health of the patient. Even when a patient is cured of an ailment, this is often just the first step in the actual healing process. The body can quickly change, and the mind takes time to catch up with the body's condition. My work examines ways in which patients find cures for themselves between the physiological and psychological, alternative ways of thinking that allow people to cope and potentially subvert the rigid ideal of what is considered healthy in the western medical institution. Using clay as a medium to describe the human body, I analyze personal and shared histories surrounding illness with research focusing on virtual connection and coping mechanisms. This culminated research will result in an installation titled, Port to World, which explores ideas of personal healing, magical thinking, and the need for an unsterile space.


© Samuel Monroe Brown

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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Included in

Fine Arts Commons