Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Jewelry and Metalsmithing

First Advisor

Timothy Veske-McMahon

Second Advisor

Maria Thompson

Third Advisor

Lauren Fensterstock


As migratory life challenges traditional understandings of "home," can domestic objects, materials, or substitutes transformed into portable art forms soothe migratory anxiety, navigate connections to home, and become alternatives to the ideal home?

This thesis is an investigation of the value of domestic objects as transitional markers of "home" and their ability to foster positive emotional connection among those whose lives are in flux migrating people. Based on British psychiatrist Donald W. Winnicott's research on "Transitional Objects" or "Transitional Phenomena" such objects not only represent "comfort objects" for infants but also foreshadow the many roles assigned by individuals throughout their lifelong journey.


View exhibition online: Fei Gao, Home. Objects. Transitions.



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