Contradictions in a mad world

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julie Fawn Boisseau (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Joan Byrd

Abstract: My thesis exhibition consists of creating a surreal world to express the mad reality we live with every day. This world deals with my own deeply felt contradictions. These contradictions include; life/death, love/hate, reality/fantasy, fear/courage, war/peace, good/bad, heaven/hell, confinement/freedom, and even Caucasian/Native American. All these dichotomies hinder one’s ability to feel secure and whole, and though I present these contradictions as personal, in the end they are universal. I convey these contradictions through an installation. The genre of installation sets up and controls an environment and gives the viewer a world to examine. In my installation the viewer ventures through a tunnel-like path that surrounds a garden space of surreal beauty. It is often said that we are not afforded the luxury of stopping to smell the roses any more. I choose to give my audience roses, but only after I take them on a disquieting journey through thorns. I am allowing the viewer to walk through the landscape of my mind in as vivid a way as possible, perhaps causing them to be as uncomfortable with the fragility of life as I often am. Both the tunnel-like sculptures surrounding the garden and the garden itself consist of components made of porcelain and glass. Individual “beads” of hand built and carved porcelain are painted with layers of colored porcelain slips. The layers of color are sanded back to reveal a surprising colors and patterns directly related to the carving underneath Lampworked glass pieces separate the porcelain forms. Steel rods in various shapes and sizes have been welded and bent to serve as the armature for the beads. Dark and threatening forms are arranged as a boundary, a tunnel-like path, leading the viewer down the path around a garden. The garden’s sculptural forms are light, airy, and colorful incorporating surreal flora and fauna also created as beads. Each sculptural form can stand on its own as an individual piece, but when placed together, they create a cohesive experience for the audience. My influences for this work are many. I draw upon painters such as Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe, and Salvadore Dali; upon glass workers such as Janis Miltenberger, Kari Russell-Poole, and Robert Mickelson; and sculptors including Liza Lou, Kiki Smith, Tara Donovan, and Michael Sherrill. Other inspirations include beadwork, which I have done all my life and which is in part responsible for the colors I utilize in my work; Mexican culture and art from growing up in Southern California and the swamps of southern Georgia, where my ancestors originate; and Native American art and culture from my lineage. All of these influences have led me to this work I have created for my thesis.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Installations (Art)
Paradox in art
Dualism in art

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