Title of Abstract

Why Don't You Just Leave?

Submitting Student(s)

Anna HeathFollow

Session Title

Creative Expressions-Session 1

Faculty Mentor

Claudia O'Steen, M.F.A.; osteenc@winthrop.edu

College

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Department

Fine Arts

Faculty Mentor

Claudia O'Steen, M.F.A.

Abstract

My thesis is about my experiences growing up as a LGBT youth in a conservative household and how that has affected my familial relationships, my identity, and my self image. Through a steel skeleton replica of my childhood bedroom wall, the viewer is invited to walk through the white wooden door into the space I spent most of my days in. Inside the “room” are two pieces that represent those childhood experiences. The first piece is Balance, a found object and steel kinetic sculpture, which represents my precarious relationship with my father. Hanging in the middle of the mobile is one of my favorite childhood toys, a Barbie airplane, and hanging on either side of the airplane are concrete cast objects containing bits and pieces of my other Barbies from my childhood. The second piece is Ideal Body, a wearable cardboard sculpture fitted to my body. The suit is meant to represent my ideal figure: strong, imposing, and androgynous. The video displayed on the wall shows a performance of me getting in and out of the suit. These pieces were made as a way for me to process my own feelings about my family and my identity. I have taken toys and objects that were once sentimental to me and destroyed and repurposed them for my art. The experience has been emotional and cathartic. I want the viewer to share this experience with me through the objects I have made. It is important for me to share my experience with others so that if they resonate with those feelings of uncertainty, with loss, or a changing identity, they may not feel so alone.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Performance Description

Artist Talk - 7 minutes

Start Date

16-4-2021 11:54 AM

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Apr 16th, 11:54 AM

Why Don't You Just Leave?

My thesis is about my experiences growing up as a LGBT youth in a conservative household and how that has affected my familial relationships, my identity, and my self image. Through a steel skeleton replica of my childhood bedroom wall, the viewer is invited to walk through the white wooden door into the space I spent most of my days in. Inside the “room” are two pieces that represent those childhood experiences. The first piece is Balance, a found object and steel kinetic sculpture, which represents my precarious relationship with my father. Hanging in the middle of the mobile is one of my favorite childhood toys, a Barbie airplane, and hanging on either side of the airplane are concrete cast objects containing bits and pieces of my other Barbies from my childhood. The second piece is Ideal Body, a wearable cardboard sculpture fitted to my body. The suit is meant to represent my ideal figure: strong, imposing, and androgynous. The video displayed on the wall shows a performance of me getting in and out of the suit. These pieces were made as a way for me to process my own feelings about my family and my identity. I have taken toys and objects that were once sentimental to me and destroyed and repurposed them for my art. The experience has been emotional and cathartic. I want the viewer to share this experience with me through the objects I have made. It is important for me to share my experience with others so that if they resonate with those feelings of uncertainty, with loss, or a changing identity, they may not feel so alone.