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Ephemera : investigations of nature and nurture through glass

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tracy Michele Kirchmann (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://www.wcu.edu/404.asp
Advisor
Joan Byrd

Abstract: I articulate my thoughts in the language of glass. I have dedicated myself to the technical and conceptual understanding of this material for the past nine years. I am drawn to glass as a conceptual artist because of the dichotomies the medium presents. Glass can be liquid or solid, transparent or opaque, strong or fragile. Glass as an art object can be incredibly precious, while in industrial applications it is considered disposable. It is a material that we use so frequently in our daily lives that it is almost invisible. Although glass has an ancient history, it is also used in cutting edge technology. In my work I seek to expose the many aspects of this protean material and its similarities to human strength and fragility. Conceptually this body of work deals with by issues surrounding identity and how we come to be who we are, through both nature and nurture. I am particularly interested in the impact of the family system on the individual identity. In an effort to explore these issues, I have created a body of work that explores my own genealogy as well as my own nature through glass sculpture, incorporating family photographs and found objects. I create with found objects that have outlived their owners and have had multiple lifetimes. I am intrigued by objects that I can use to create new contexts and metaphors in their exhibition. These works represent my interest in memory, perception and time. My approach to these concepts is based in my own brand of "science". The creation of these objects and their subsequent display represent my attempt to understand the ways my ancestry and nurture have shaped my identity.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
AMERICAN STUDIO GLASS, FOUND OBJECT ART, GLASS, JOSEPH CORNELL, LOUISE BOURGEOIS, SCULPTURE
Subjects
Glass art