So here is an introduction to the work I am doing here at OCAC for my thesis. First: the idea of the "thesis", in this context, is (basically) a body of visual work which includes a written rationale and is overseen by a committee of faculty members.
Basically we're proving that we can create a cohesive body of work, and defend it. What follows is my own thesis proposal; if you can make it through (it's pretty dry, sorry), I think it may put some of the work you may see on my flickr account in context. I am also very interested in any questions or reactions anyone may have.
"I propose to create a body of work including drawings, paintings, and ceramic sculpture. The connections between the works will be both formal elements -- monochromatic color schemes, human scale, and non-representational or non-objective imagery -- and a dialogue between the pieces in regards to forms and textures both hinted at in two-dimensional work and made manifest in ceramic. This dialogue happens through the simultaneous working of multiple pieces, working from the same source materials, and cross-examining each piece against the others as they are worked as both investigation and validation.
I envision 4-6 pieces each of drawings, paintings, and sculptures. The drawings themselves are a kind of center to the work, generative and problem-solving, created through a process I can best describe as a non-aleatoric "automatic writing", while the paintings and sculptures focus most on investigations of color and form, respectively, as evocative of emotional states.
My source materials are several, involving both anxiety and tonic. I explore my own anxiety disorder and depression (as well resultant peripheral issues and personal experiences) by accessing and working in personal emotional states and dream imagery -- the emotional states and dreams which both terrify and isolate. The other source materials are forms and colors I find in the world which act as a kind of tonic -- which calm and normalize. I want to transfer this conversation between the inner and the outer -- isolation and openness -- to the work. I will also be writing about the pieces as they evolve and pertinent autobiographical elements (for my personal use to inform my work) as well as developing my rationale through examining the writings of artists who have worked similarly.
My investigations and source materials act as a seed and as a guide to the formal decisions I make in the works as they evolve. Since the work is not meant to be about anxiety, depression, etc. per se, (i.e. I am not meaning to communicate a point of view on these issues or even to necessarily bring them up as discourse) I am comfortable leaving symbology and repeated themes in the works unstated and allowing viewers to interpret the internal logic between the works as well as their own personal emotional reaction and involvement.
I am open to many possibilities of change in direction as the pieces evolve. Perhaps I will drop or pick up another medium, or a sub-group of themes may take precedence and dominate my original concept. Perhaps I will work with mixed media, though there is an aspect of "purity" of each medium: clay, charcoal and paper, oil and panel which speaks to the more stark, monochromatic aspects of what I envision. I am open to the possibility of narrative emerging, or perhaps even discernable objects in the 2d work -- etc.
I currently envision the final pieces being shown together in a gallery setting where they occupy and create their own space. These final pieces, my finished thesis, need not be about "anxiety and tonic", necessarily; I am not intending them to be. I hope to create work that involves the viewer emotionally and physically in the manner of my own anxiety/tonic relationship with the world. The end of the thesis itself, as well as its beginning, should be exploratory and generative."