Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Cornelia McSheehy

Second Advisor

Andrew Raftery

Third Advisor

Nicholas Cladis


This body of work examines the involvement of association as it relates to our cultural interpretations of natural phenomena. Flowers and animals, both real and imagined, have been used as symbols for human morality since the beginning of human history. Two sources with which I drew inspiration from are medieval bestiaries and the Victorian practice of flower language. By combining elements from these references, I aim to pair this idea about the human need for classification with my own considerations about my identity. In combination, I also aim to highlight the responsibility that is intrinsic to curiosity. When faced with a mystery or something that does not give its information freely, what impulse will follow a desire for knowledge? In what way and through which criteria will something find itself classified? In what way does a flower become good or evil?


View exhibition online: Riley Wilson, A Presence of P____ and W__th



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