• A Jumbie journey: MFA Thesis - Photography and Related Media

      France, Jauzzle R. (2021-06)
      In the Caribbean, the Jumbie is a mischievous, mythical, ghost-like creature known for possession and other physical disturbances. Thought to be the souls of someone who has lived a violent life or died a violent death, practices such as exorcisms and prayer are performed in hopes of capturing and banishing these presences from their victims’ lives. The Jumbie's goal is not to harm or kill but to cause mischief and mayhem. Ever since I moved to the United States of America for college from the Caribbean, I have noticed a decline in my mental health. In my culture people reacted to mental health the same way they responded to the Jumbie, as a demonic possession that, according to them, could only be fixed through prayer. Once I became aware of that comparison, I began working on A Jumbie Quilt and Are You Seeing Jumbie, a children’s book that follows a girl, who discovers she has a Jumbie and takes account of how she moves forward with learning to live with it. In both of these projects, I use photography, digital collage, and fabric to explore what it means to preserve a hybrid identity while recounting the impact living in another country has had on my mental health. The quilt and the book serve as documentation of my relationship with the Jumbie and how we have grown from being strangers to becoming familiar with one another, I wish to create a dissonance that mimics the turmoil I feel as a person caught in between cultures and grasping for solace while battling an unknown foe.
    • The Tribe: Talismans, Amulets, and Objects of Remembrance: MFA Thesis - Metal

      Holman, Steven Gordon (2014-05)
      Motif-laden and anecdotal, my current works are a series of artifacts from The Tribe. The Tribe was born out of the West Desert and contemporary hunting culture, its shaman the rabbit and its oracle the magpie. Tapping into myths, Norse, Native American, and personal, my works are a reflection of childhood experiences and the rambling landscapes of western Utah. In the creation of these artifacts I grapple with notions of hunting, gathering, and storytelling, attempting to reconcile the misconceptions about what it is to be a hunter today. I attempt to form new material allegiances, each component a place marker coming together to complete the narrative. By combining natural, archaic materials with technologies of contemporary rural culture I present to a demographic that is often overlooked. I make adornment for The Tribe, about and for the contemporary hunter-gatherer.