This thesis seeks to explain and explore the work in Proving Ground, the thesis exhibition that accompanies this written thesis. The exhibition consists of an installation titled Proving Ground, a series of photographs titled All New Materials, and a series of small sculpture titled New Evolutions.
The installation Proving Ground is a set of life size animals; a cow, deer, and two smaller creatures that reference Romulus and Remus. The cow and the deer are made out of paper mache and discarded stuffed animals. Romulus and Remus are made out of paper mache and horse hair. It is in this installation that the foundation myth of Rome is explored and well as transmutation and genetic mutations that can occur from nuclear fallout.
The photographs All New Materials seek to investigate the transformation of materials from discarded stuffed animals to animal hides. In the photographs the materiality of the project is at play.
The sculptures New Evolutions showcase playfulness in the materials of the mutated stuffed animals. The sculptures exhibit possible transformations and evolutions of the creatures in the fictitious Proving Ground.
Artists of influence in this work include Matthew Ritchie, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Kara Walker, Annette Messager, Vik Muniz, Peter Goin, and Emmitt Gowin.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Installations (Art)--Themes, motives; Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; Sculpture--Themes, motives; Mutation (Biology)--Pictorial works
Imaging Arts (MFA)
Secrest, Alison, "Proving ground" (2006). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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