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RISD MFA Thesis Project

The Evolution of Ornament, 2018

Appliqué on cotton, industrial knitting

The Evolution of Ornament is a visual exploration of Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, abstracted into three textile panels representing the allure of textural ornamentation. The fragmented shapes depicted are gathered together into asymmetrical layouts that reference dissection and bird plumage. The parallel themes of glamour in the natural world, and the pulsing vivacity of flora and fauna, emerge as a vehicle for the contemplation of the innate irrationality of desire. The viewer is seduced through neon color palettes, tactile materiality, and considered placement of specifically amorphous shapes. They are intended to simulate in the viewer the reaction of a female bird when presented with a mating display, a kind of visceral attraction to an elaborate presentation that speaks more of intrigue than lust. Knit samples provide a textural complement, with many of the patterns referencing retro futurism and the projected glamour of progress evident in American mid-century design.

Exhibited at:

Rhode Island School of Design Graduate Thesis Exhibition, RI Convention Center, May 2018

1stDibs Gallery at 200 Lex, New York NY, June 2018

Room 68 Design, Provincetown MA, July 2018

Three Pelts, 2018

Industrial knitting, hand sewing

These three panels were knit on a Stoll industrial knitting machine. They are meant to resemble animal skins and are intended to be stretched and hung on the wall as fine art pieces. The inspiration came from bird plumage and the elaborate mating displays of Papua New Guinea's Birds of Paradise.

Five Shed Dresses, 2017

Digital and screen prints on canvas

This collection of dresses was inspired by the rustic interior of a backyard shed full of orphaned lawn furniture. Some fabrics were waxed with beeswax, which has a very distinctive smell and antimicrobial properties.

The photos above show the process of creating this collection, from gouache studies and photographs, to the final pieces.

A Curious Cabinet: Two Lengths, 2017

36" x 108"

Digital print and screen print on cotton.

This piece is inspired by the objects we collect and the meaning they bring to our lives. The complex space shows how these objects inhabit different places in domestic interiors, as well as play an important role in the more ethereal world of memory.

Electric Throw Rug, 2017

Machine knit Dream-Sil rubber yarn, cotton, linen, acrylic

This piece is a work in progress for an emerging textile. The rubber yarn prevents slippage when used as a rug. The knit fabric is bouncy when vertical, and when animated uses the weight of the rubber yarn to create considerable spring.