Date of Award

5-11-2020

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Darien Arikoski-Johnson

Second Advisor

Christina A. West

Third Advisor

Jeremy Bolen

Abstract

Hiraeth Never Fades is a ceramic-based installation focused on my experience as a product of the closed domestic adoption industry in the United States. Using self-portrait busts, vessels, daisies, and stacked paper, I explore the unnerving struggle to find my family as an adult and the psychological aftershocks of a newly reclaimed original identity. The installation examines the personal impact of accessing a hidden past, the struggle to reclaim original identity, and the journey to secure personal historicity as someone who started life as an orphan and was subsequently adopted. I was given the right to try to find my family after 30 years of legal restriction. In my thesis work I explore ideas of secretly wondering who my family was while being isolated from them; coming to terms with tragedy and loss upon reunion; and learning to connect with the remaining family I was so lucky to find.

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