MFA Semester 1
F22 End Term Artist Statement
I am searching for how my art might reflect the contagious happiness of children. I had an incredibly happy childhood and later I worked with children at various preschools, summer camps, and volunteer opportunities. My present artistic intent is to return to childlike
wonderment, to return to a happier existence unburdened by the struggles of adulthood.
The Happiness Advantage by psychologist Shawn Achor and Joyful by designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explains the psychology behind desiring to be happy and how we can achieve that goal by making small changes in our lives and in how we view life. Both books touch on surrounding ourselves with an abundance of objects that bring us joy as a simple way to inspire more happiness in daily life. Lee calls this concept the abundance aesthetic. Artists such as Vanessa German, Chanakarn Semachai, Lisa Marie Barber, Sheila Hicks, JooYoung Choi, and Alma
Thomas provide a better view of how to utilize the abundance aesthetic within artwork through a variety of colors, textures, and objects. It is because of these artists that I have realized I lack abundance within my own work and am currently aiming to remedy that.
Clouds have always resonated with me deeply. They connect us by being present no matter where we are, encouraging imagination. Clouds are ephemeral and fleeting, just as happiness often is, in terms of positive psychology. It is due to these ideas that I utilize an abstracted cloud form throughout all of my work.
My process is very meditative but also very fun, a juxtaposition that comes from the desire to think more positively as an adult while still returning to a place of childlike wonderment. I prefer hand building over throwing on the potter’s wheel because I enjoy the slow, methodical process of pinching every surface of the clay to build my clouds. I then collage the components, taking all the different small parts and seeing how they may work together as a whole. Emblematic of my focus on joyfulness, I use bright and cheerful colors. This provides a moment to be more expressive and to have fun, contained within the more meditative, precise practice of meticulous cutting and gluing. As a child, I loved the layering of collage and graphic design but also the tactile nature of clay and paint.
“I began to see the world as a reservoir of positivity that I could turn to at any time.”, is a quote I resonate with from Joyful that reminds me a lot of my childhood and how I often tied creativity to resourcefulness. It was then that I learned how to use found objects playfully, and how to mimic fictional environments by creating forts out of the things that bring me joy. In childhood, any object was an opportunity for art making and imagination, but these objects were
and are still fleeting and ever-changing. Through the use of found objects, sculpted ceramic components, and collage I hope to contain these thoughts within my art.