KNOWN & LOVED

2020 SENIOR THESIS EXHIBITION

This body of work was intended for my senior exhibition, the capstone project for the completion of my BA degree in Studio Arts. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled following the university’s closure because of COVID-19, so now it lives here instead. Despite the unexpected turn of events, it is one of my favorite projects to date. Thank you to those who helped bring this project to life, especially each individual pictured, as well as my supportive professors, peers, and family!

 

This collection of portraits and GIFs serves a simple, singular purpose: to show each subject that they are deeply Known and Loved. As I approached the end of my undergraduate career, it was clear that over the four years I spent at the university, what impacted me most was not the classes I took, grades I earned, or programs I participated in, but the people I connected with. Each individual pictured in this show has had a profound impact upon my life, whether it be through challenging my worldview, supporting me in times of immense struggle, or pushing me to be a better version of myself.

 

Through getting to know each individual and observe their growth over the past few years, I came to understand important parts of myself. Through my relationships with these friends, I now recognize that I feel most loved when people take the time to make sure that my thoughts are heard with intention and understanding. I wanted to return these feelings of being known and loved with this project, by spending intentional, individualized time with each, and ultimately through showing how they are seen through my eyes.

 

Upon receiving confirmation from each subject regarding their participation in the show, I created a series of five questions tailored specifically to each individual, along with three that were asked to all. I then invited each person to a “studio conversation,” where I photographed them as they reacted to the questions I asked. Each question was written to elicit a certain physical response from each individual: a small gesture, quirk, or habit that I have come to identify with each person in the time I have known them. The series of photos were then compiled into GIFs in order to capture these distinct movements on loop.

 

Dedicated to Shelby, Morgan, Kaylee, Ashlyn, Dani, Luc, Dan, Peri, and Cooper.