Title

Cycle

Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Art

Advisor

Jeannie Hulen

Committee Member

Alissa Walls

Second Committee Member

Kristin Musgnug

Third Committee Member

Mathew McConnell

Keywords

Communication and the arts; Biological sciences; Eco art; Gardening; Original artwork

Abstract

Cycle is the exhibition of a year-long project that experiments with growing food and medicinal herbs. Alongside an exploration of plant growth, I transfer iconic cultural objects of daily life from plastic to ceramics. Using material culture as a physical and conceptual platform, this re-contextualization of objects offers a radically different view of use and meaning. I transform the soda-filled, plastic Big Gulp cup into a terra planter filled with new life.

My working method involves making molds of Big Gulp plastic cups and transferring the form into a traditional plant growing material, terra cotta. I then germinate seeds inside these objects and use those plants for large gardens, where healthy food and medicinal herbs can be accessed.

The Big Gulp as an object of mainstream culture is currently in the throes of political warfare. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg proposes law that prohibits citizens from consuming sugary beverages from vessels larger than sixteen ounces. For me, the conflict surrounding this law marks a paradox within the American relationship to food. Cycle looks to both sides of this argument and attempts to represent, understand and blend the two seemingly opposed sides that capture a larger picture contemporary American culture.

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