Goodnight Baby: Retrospective in Lullaby

One day Mia went over the

rainbow and

when she got there

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she found that nobody lived

in the house anymore

except for your specter

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haunting the halls in your

pink tutu

thought your skates rusted

long ago

you clicked your heels together

three times

and suddenly

all the stars were blossoming

and we began at the beginning

and carved into the ice

a story that was light

in the darkness

until we came to the end

(it only took a second)

it wasn't easy, dear, but

growing up was an awfully

big adventure

Goodnight Baby

Love,

Mia

Armor

My coach once told me that figure skating was "a gladiatorial sport"- small figures in large arenas competing in front of huge crowds, their spectators all really there just to see you mess up. We may have been wearing tons of make-up and spandex dresses with crystal rhinestones, but that didn't change the fact that we were all tiny, disciplined, cut-throat fighters.

The loneliness out there on the ice was a maginification of how it feels to be a woman in a world; we are expected to be delicate and ladylike while still fighting to get the respect and recognition we deserve for what we do. If only there were some type of armor that could protect us from all those things trying to take us down.

It was the final weeks of the hardest school year in my career. I was struggling against yet another bout of depression. Exhausted and hurting, my own no longer seemed strong enough to get me through. So I made myself some armor strong enough to protect me from the pain, delicate enough to make me feel beautiful, and worn-looking enough to remind me that the fight began long before me and shall continue on... until we win.

5 plaster breastplate casts, chicken wire, burlap, artifical flowers, army men, artificial pearls, lace, candy, bottle tops, drink umbrellas, metal hangers (each piece about 2.5 ft by 1.5 ft by .75 ft)

Dream Home/ Dysfunctional Home

Our assignment was "Breaking the Law"... and yet, all I wanted to do was build a house. So I did. 

A house for me. A very small one. A feminine and cozy space that I could call my own. One that was built with bolts so I could pack it up and take with me anywhere and reassemble it if I wished. After moving so much as a teenager, I have become rather weary of living in foreign spaces that are not "mine." They say "home is where the heart is" so what happens to the heart when it has no place to rest? 

My friends joked that I had build a "Wendy House"- referencing the house that the lost boys built for Wendy after they shot her with an arrow in Peter Pan. And, perhaps it is a small space for fallen souls to rest. But I built this house all by myself.

When my professor asked me how my house reflected the prompt, I simply joked "It's not up to codes." Indeed, it is a rather dysfunctional home, but the perfect kind of dysfunctional at that.

Wood, cardboard, paint, paper, Sharpie, tinfoil, bolts, nails, glue (4ft by 4ft by 6ft)

And then my professor challenged me to take the prompt further... So I "moved" into my house for a few days, technically making me a squatter in the List Art Center Sculpture Studio. I ate all my meals there, did all my work there, relaxed and took naps. Safety regulations prohibited me from actually staying in the sculpture studio overnight, so the security guards kicked me out each night at midnight, but I stayed until midnight each night and returned when I woke up every morning. I even invited my boyfriend to move in with me!

Alas, all things must come to an end, and when I realized at the end of the year that I had no place to store my house, I decided to send it off with a nice final goodbye... So I invited anyone who wanted to to draw on my house to do so. It turned out beautiful.

Beautiful Little Fool

List Art Center, Room 221 Gallery, Brown University 2015

My original conception of this project was to turn a room into the surface of a giant-scale vanity table. The installation became a space in which to contemplate the influence that commodified images of beauty and beauty-product marketing campaigns have on our perceptions of ourselves and others. I wanted the perfume bottles to be just the right size that a human could sit in them if they were 3D, creating a relationship between the body and the works that invites viewers to contemplate the scale of the emphasis they place on their own physical appearances in determining their own success and happiness. I also aimed to make the works in a style that referenced advertisements you see on labels, in old magazines, and on decals you see in store windows today. The decision to make the entire installation black and white was partially aesthetic, but also gave the room a sanitary and dispirited air.

I titled my show after a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan (a quote actually thought to be based off a true statement made by Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda): "That's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool"(116-118). It is a quote that has both haunted and mocked me throughout my young-adult life. Having been a competitive figure skater for 14 years, a lot of emphasis was placed on my physical appearance from a young age, and even after I finished skating, it is still sometimes hard to remember that your physical appearance does not determine your self worth. Beautiful Little Fool is a space for me to confront my biases and obsessions, to see them as flimsy and 1-Dimensional as giant wall-fabric stickers or a clear shower curtains. It is also a space of forgiveness, a space that says "Yes, part of you may be a shallow little fool, but you are still young yet- go out and find the true beauty in the world. Come back any time you need to be reminded how silly this all really is."

7 Printed Wall Fabric decals (about 5 ft tall each), 2 Printed Vinyl Shower Curtains (6ft by 6ft)

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* Hand credit to Sebastian Pihan

Tealuxe

My first semester at Brown in 2013, our class had the usual assignment of contour drawing. My immediate reaction to contour drawing is always an eye roll- this again? However, this time I ended up falling in love with one particular marker contour drawing I did of a cabinet in Tealuxe, a popular tea café near campus. This year, I returned to Tealuxe to finish the contour series that was sparked 2 years ago, drawing the remaining features of the café. 

then scanned these drawings into Adobe Photoshop and "cleaned them up" before moving them into Adobe Illustrator where I converted them into a format suitable for being printed on a large scale on shower curtains using a flatbed printer. The final result was a 3D installation of my 2D contoured interpretation of Tealuxe.

In this project, I was most intrigued by the challenge of creating a 3D space out of a 2D version of an already existent 3D space. I liked the idea of using shower curtains because it made the piece interactive- not only can viewers walk through the piece, but they are encouraged to move the shower curtains so that different layers of the space are added and subtracted. It was important to me that the setting be of a familiar environment that many visitors of the piece would recognize- hence why I chose to represent Tealuxe.

I wanted documentation of the versatiliy of the piece and its interactive components, so I performed an improvisational dance with the piece. I hope the performance highlights my most important goal for the piece- that it be fun!

 

Tealuxe, 2015

Printed Vinyl Shower Curtain

6ft by 6ft