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Situated at the intersection of my past and present art practice, this thesis explores interstitial (or intervening) spaces: a place of “in betweenness,” a place one enters when transitioning from an old life to a new. The thesis addresses the role of memory in my experience of an interstitial space as I was establishing a dual Romanian-Canadian cultural identity in the art world. In my interstice story, I am both actor in and spectator of my quest to reconcile conventional and alternative media and past and present art practice. Ultimately, my quest is one of self-acceptance where I have reshaped my artistic identity in the contemporary milieu. My thesis exhibition includes ten sculptures in varied sizes, including self-portraiture. These sculptures use two approaches to reveal metaphoric alterations of my inner self. The first approach is formal, depicted through realistic clay portraiture. The formal approach speaks to my skills in academic methods learned in art schools in Romania. These methods are seen in my manipulation of the material and in the figurative aspect of the work. The second approach is more conceptual, revealed in recyclable clay, wooden scraps, and found objects that indirectly allude to consumption. This approach uses memory and dual identity to reveal the investigation of the self-persona and to create an imaginary link between my past and present art practice. For instance, Objects-Talismen bring emotions and familiarity from the past into the present, reconnecting my current life with my former life. In one sculpture, called I am Ro-maniac: Refilling my Memories, I am represented as a humorous figure with a funnel protruding from its head. The funnel speaks to my need to refill my memories—to never forget where I came from. Another sculpture, The Self-(Re) Built from Scraps, alludes to layers of memories that comprise who I am. My “interstitial place” is a transitional space where I have struggled to repossess my identity in dislocated circumstances and where I have grown to understand this new identity situated between two art worlds, between past and present, between old and new.
DegreeMaster of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
DepartmentArt and Art History
CommitteeShantz, Susan; Norlen, Alison; Nowlin, Tim; Lieverse, Angela
Copyright DateSeptember 2021