Origins are beginnings. Everyone has an origin, a point from which their path brought them to the person that they are today. Some origins are from birth and lead in winding lines to a person’s present. Some origins come after birth and may take the form of an event, person or place that touched a life and drastically affected their path, pushing or pulling them to become an entirely different person than would have otherwise come about.
My own origin was the moment I was given into the arms of my adoptive parents. I was wrapped in layers of clothes, bundled up tightly as my own thread of life veered drastically. In my grown up life I have no memories of my origin and few pictures by which to remember it. But as I turned twenty-two my mother showed me the very clothes that I wore the day she and my father received me. These clothes, a variety of baby articles in shades of pink and red, mostly handmade, and slightly worn, have come to symbolize my own origin.
I believe that the passage of time and the memory by which we mark it within ourselves, is not linear. It warps and fades allowing moments of joy and sadness to stand out while other less emotional times slip away and fade into a haze. Within memory there can be longing, mourning and even anger for what has occurred, but also joy and hope for what was and can become.
For my thesis investigations I delved into my own origin story in hopes of representing a universally understood story of origin. I utilized the imagery of my baby clothes as a visual subject that is easily recognizable to many people. I also incorporated the themes of The Red Thread of Fate and cloth and textile arts as a particularly gendered subjects representative of my own adoption story.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Soft sculpture--Themes, motives; Installations (Art)--Themes, motives; Intercountry adoption--Pictorial works; Infants' clothing--Pictorial works
Metals and Jewelry Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CAD)
Eileen Feeney Bushnell
Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez
Perse, Zoey M., "Origins" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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