Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Mary Anne Friel
How can we transcend our literal place by connecting with natural space?
As industrialization and globalization have increasingly shaped our society, we have become more and more disconnected from nature, ourselves, and our memories. Furthermore, living busy lives, we have lost the ability to appreciate and be grateful for our surroundings. Nonetheless, we can reconnect with what has been lost—nature, ourselves, and our memories— with a small shift in our mindset and a habitual practice of walking, which pulls our footsteps not toward a certain place but toward an understanding of the passage of time, the resonance of longing, and an understanding of who we are. It is in these moments of peripatetic reminiscence that we can travel back in time with our memories and catch a glimpse of ourselves in other places. Ultimately, this makes us capable of taking in our surroundings in the now. Truly, noticing our environment is a way of reconnecting with oneself and one’s history.
teMy textile work—fine-art woven and printed fabric installations—offers a collective pictorial representation of my personal experiences living in various parts of the world. Bringing these places into one body of work represents transcendence and connection. Memories that pull me into a state of recollection consist of locations relating to my mother’s love, my childhood homes, and my current residential circumstances. These are all connected directly with my work. The work has come to life in two forms. One, each location is separate in and of itself, as I nailed down a memorable location. Two, the different places are connected through the physical act of walking and the physical medium of pathways. All of my thoughts, realizations, and feelings as I journeyed through my life are embodied within the work. To me, a place does not have any physical limitations, as the trace of memory it leaves behind becomes a never-ending story that lives on inside of me. This thesis is a collection of short essays on my experience and my research into the literature of repair, walking, nature, place, and memory. I hope readers will find their own relationships to the ideas. Everyone endeavors to communicate through experience. Just as places lead us naturally by the hand into our memories, so these locations enable us to communicate and connect with each other, even if the memories recollected have a different meaning to each of us. Because all human beings go through life with their own collection of memories, I hope that this work becomes a channel for mutual interaction and understanding for the places that I have represented and those that others might, too.
Kim, Hye Young, "Here and there: a continuous narrative" (2020). Masters Theses. 603.
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