Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
In my thesis, I have chosen to present a collection of stories throughout my life that continue to impact my practice, along with journal entries, gathered notes, and small to large conversations I've had with my peers, parents, visiting artists, and professors. These collection of stories take place in Wisconsin, Philadelphia, and Nepal, ranging in small moments to a span of seven years. I've been writing down words and clues that could lead me to find the thesis-worthy definition of my work and practice. As if someone or something else other than myself holds the knowledge I'm incapable of locating. The moment I think I can grasp it, it quickly slides away and manifests into an idea that I don't believe to be mine. Much like the process of painting, that search will inevitably lead me to the answers.
I take photographs through the lens of the landscape which I feel mimic interconnected patterns, rhythms, light, atmosphere, and pressure found in the natural world. There's a matter of factness to my photographs, there is an event or situation, evidence of a gesture, and a peculiarity in relation to the subject’s environment. The subject may act as an insertion or disruption to the context around it. The framing of the image is important because it helps decode the relationship between the subject and environment. The subject is only important when informed by the context it appears. The relationship can bring harmony or humor. The space in the photos can feel compressed and coalesced, and the foreground and background often collapse into each other. My paintings are a vessel and a surface trying to achieve this same embodied point of view. In reverence to these photographed un-monumental 3D spaces, I aim to transform them into large-scale, exaggerated, and monumental paintings. A disruptive gesture, change of materials, or event is interwoven into the paintings to dodge initial expectations.
Peckenpaugh, Madeline, "This side of the air" (2020). Masters Theses. 486.
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