Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Emily Cornell du Houx
Drawing is a unique human invention that reveals an individual’s thoughts, knowledge, and expression of “being;” it is the manifestation of human activity and energy; it represents thought (relating to the mind) and physicality (as executed by the hand and the body) through the manipulation of materials (the world around me).
Process is the embodiment of human passion, energy, expression, conceptualization from idea to form, and the connection of hand and mind. It is a succession of verbs realized in the practice of making. I joke that every piece of work I’ve made “has my blood, sweat, and tears in it,” but there is truth in jest. That which drives my work is the combination of the body reacting to pain and damage, over-exertion of physical labor, and physical expression of human emotion.
When these elements are given physical expression in form, one can envision and feel the creation his or herself through embodied cognition, or knowledge. By deliberately leaving traces of a “drawing’s” process, I allow the viewer to imagine how it was made. My work’s representation and expression of embodied cognition allows a viewer to recall their own personal experience and bodily memory of physicality.
The two distilled subjects of my investigations – and as related to my practice – focus on “Drawing” and “The Verb” (Verb being a sum of process, gesture, and thought) and the language created when they are combined. It’s a language shared by both the maker and the viewer as understood through embodied cognition. This experience of language is both the petrification of a moment as well as an open-ended translation.
This book articulates my creative practice, process, and associative way of thinking. It is the result of self-reflection, accumulative research, struggle, and a developed self-understanding of how I work and, really, who I am as an artist.
Gibson, McKenzie, "Transformation through drawing and gesture" (2017). Masters Theses. 126.
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