Honors Thesis / BFA Thesis Work
My last work completed in college, titled “In Memoriam,” focused on my grandfather whom I was very close to before he passed. By working with old family photographs, I have been simultaneously working through a memory problem which causes me to have issues remembering and imagining facial features whilst also broadening my ideas to speak on mental issues related to serving in the military, as my grandfather once served. This work utilizes screen printing and film photography and branches out into more sculptural arts as well, using military jackets as the canvas for some photographic work and also using materials like spent shell casings to connect to my honors research in Trench Art and its connection to trauma therapy.
"Trench Art" as Art Therapy During Wartime
I spent my final year at the University of Colorado at Boulder researching "trench art" and its connection to art therapy. The term “trench art” can be a bit misleading, as trench art is not limited just to art created by soldiers literally in the trenches. Instead, it can include art created by servicemen not spending time in the trenches, civilians affected by war, prisoners of war, and individuals in internment camps.
Art therapy, then, is often acknowledged as being a powerful and non-threatening way of expressing trauma, stress, and other difficult emotions (sometimes far more comforting than verbal means of expression), and practicing art without a therapist can act in parallel ways. Thus, I studied the ways in which trench art parallels art therapy used on active duty servicemen and how art can aid in stress relief.