Senior Thesis Exhibition 2022
if you draw a _____ it could be the ground features the work of fourteen undergraduate students who completed the Senior Thesis Program. This exhibition is on view May 10-23 at SMFA at Tufts.
If you draw a _____ it could be the ground has grown from both introspective and outward-looking relationships between artists and their processes of making. One of the most striking aspects of this thesis cohort is the range of inspiration for all the exhibited projects. If we imagine a line, extending from inside ourselves toward the world: outside our body and into our home, our neighborhood, the Earth we live on, each artist would occupy one distinct starting point. Some artists fall in clusters together on this imagined line:
Under Selfhood, we look toward the relationships to ourselves as source material to embrace the contradictions of life, thus inventing new spaces, between consciousness and dreams, being held and confined, the everyday and the personal, loneliness and self-contentment. Using textiles and self portraiture, these works consider what it means to love oneself, to dream, to obsessively draw oneself, and to exhibit oneself to others.
Our exhibition broadens in this next cluster to the self in relation to Family and by extension, domestic labor, culture and religion. Using domestic practices as their point of departure, artists investigate their place within their family dynamics. At times, works under this theme chase a closeness made impossible by the fleeting nature of childhood memories or the complex relationship between daughters and immigrant mothers.
Following the line outside of the self and the family home, some look outwards to the Materiality of the world around us. These works rely on the transformation of materials through their exposure to other natural elements or to the unpredictability of participating audience members. In turn, they reject expectations of permanence in visual art, embracing and paying homage to ephemerality, decay, and transformation.
Finally, all our experiences are inadvertently dependent on and impacted by social and political systems of Power and Control that permeate everyday life. Here we consider the complexities of contemporary democracies, surveillance states, religious extremism, and the relationship between capitalism and political power. They call us to question our own reality and complacency to systems that promote the acceptance of constant surveillance and unethical consumption.
While exhibiting artists present work that is in conversation with specific personal, familial, material or political ideas, their boundaries are subtle. Our hope is that you view the works as constantly conversing with and reacting to one another. Our inspiration might have departed from different points on this imagined line, but nonetheless is threaded into all others: our relationship to the earth is inextricably linked to unsustainable capitalist systems of consumption; our experience and memories of family are inescapably linked to our view and relationship to ourselves, to the Earth to the Divine.