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Master's Theses (Art & Design)

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  1. marino_angela_201802_MFA.pdf [Download]

    Creator: Angela Marino
    Subjects: Painting, Multiple Sclerosis, Francis Bacon, Gillian Wearing, Arts in Healthcare, Family and Health, Processing Health Trauma, Installation Art, Illness and the Body, Abject Art
    Date Created: 2018/01/24
  2. thesis ERA A. Marino.pdf [Download]

    Creator: Angela Marino
    Subjects: Painting, Multiple Sclerosis, Francis Bacon, Gillian Wearing, Arts in Healthcare, Family and Health, Processing Health Trauma, Installation Art, Portraiture, Illness and the Body, Abject Art
    Date Created: 2018/01/24
  3. The Light Through the Window [Download]

    Title: The Light Through the Window
    Creator: Noemi de Bruijn
    Description: We are in a field. It is dark outside and the only sounds are of the trees and grass rustling in the wind. A vigilant light is visible from a house window. It stands out in the darkness. We are drawn to it. The point of interest is the window itself and its capacity to show both the exterior as well as the interior world. The window is the point where both realities coexist. -Noemi de Bruijn Dualities are a common part in the complexity of life. A story always has more than one perspective. Each side is worth being told. I draw from my personal experiences of belonging and displacement as a Mexican/Canadian individual. The sense of floating in between cultures and location is part of my everyday reality. Concerns with issues such as immigration, war, displacement, and culture correlate with ideas of safety, or the illusion of it. I intend to provide an alternate narrative to cultural and environmental issues. By combining methods of painting and drawing I emphasize distinct elements that exist in each picture and how they attempt to coexist. Juxtaposing reality and imagination as well as interior and exterior spaces helps us re-evaluate how we understand and inhabit place. Each composition includes elements from reality; as they would exist in the imaginary world, thus story-telling becomes essential to the work. The dualities of the spaces in these paintings both complement and oppose each other. The values associated to each space form a complex dialogue. I am interested in phenomenological spaces that have been occupied and lived in. Ideas of displacement and belonging are reflected in the rooms we occupy as well as our interactions with vast landscapes. Standing in front of the window is a metaphor for evaluating inner and outer values in our current culture. The way we live in quiet private places mirrors how we inhabit our natural landscape. It leaves marks and residues that create references to history and memory. I think specifically of forests, which are a predominant type of landscape that exists in North America. Forests occupy 1/3 of the world’s landscapes. Using charcoal and a select color palette references climate change issues such as fires, alluding to the precariousness of this type of environment. Fire has a dual nature, with the potential for destruction and regeneration, much like the duality of our own human nature. A recurring image in the work includes a variety of shelters. I would like to confront the idealized concept of ‘home’. We are vulnerable where we live. In the words of Donna Haraway, “we are at stake living in each other’s company.” We all live in consequence of each other’s actions. We are not separate, but rather unified beings. The drawn shelters reference spaces that have been occupied by people: Idealized home spaces, bunkers, bomb shelters, and refugee or homeless sites. The abstract forms allude to the human body and reference glands that are attributed to a sensory experience of memory such as smell, sight, and hearing. These forms serve as an embodiment of ideas, questions, experience, and presence. Gaston Bachelard writes in Poetics of Space, that “we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poem that was lost.” My process stems from observation and intuition, but overall it is expressive. I am concerned with a universal sense of being human and the elemental concerns that drive us. The window becomes a metaphor for self-evaluation and awareness of our environments, both inward and outward.
    Subjects: Gaston Bachelard, Painting, Painted Illustrative Forms, Images/Notions of Home, Landscape, Dreamscape, Sensory/Bodily Memory, Dualities, Inside/Outside, Displacement, Poetics of Space, Memory Glands
    Date Created: 2017/12/18
  4. Window Dressing [Download]

    Title: Window Dressing
    Creator: TJ McLachlan
    Description: Window Dressing is an exhibition that makes a public display of systemic privilege with a particularly careful eye to the way privilege is constructed, maintained and perpetuated by systems. Privilege is made material in the space of the gallery through the use of 'display' as a controlling metaphor. Systemic privilege is difficult to conceptualize for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most significant struggle is in coming to terms with the ways individuals are affected by privilege, and, what is more, benefit from it. Likely these benefits come in subtle ways that are uncomfortable to reconcile to perceptions of the self. Privilege is the product of an individual’s situatedness in race, class, gender, ability . It is a series of power dynamics that intermingle and cumulatively affect the lived experience. Consistently having conversations about privilege means coming to terms with questions such as: “How do you benefit from privilege? What does it look like in your life?” These are, in some ways impossible questions. As privilege is systemic, many of its damaging features are invisible, affecting everyday lived experiences in very subtle ways. I could, of course, look to Peggy McIntosh’s writing and understand manifestations of privilege in the ways “I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race,” or “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group" . But what is more significant is recognizing that the systemic is enmeshed in society. Privilege is not a separate thing, outside of culture and norms. Privilege is an everyday process.
    Subjects: Privilege, Sculpture, Material, Aesthetic, Display, Lakoff, Systems
    Date Created: 2017/12/21
  5. Canadiana: Wilderness Weirdness [Download]

    Title: Canadiana: Wilderness Weirdness
    Creator: Carson Wronko
    Description: Canadiana: Wilderness Weirdness provides a distinctive design through form, detail and handcraft. The practice of object making utilizes traditional pairings of domestic materials with traditional and contemporary manufacturing processes, resulting in objects that reference the Canadian landscape/natural environment. The physical structure of each piece is influenced by the simplicity of minimalist sculpture, and enhanced by craftsmanship, texture and marquetry. Each piece is handmade; building an honest union between the product and maker, who is dedicated to the creation of well-crafted, unique designs. Within the home these pieces represent a reunion with the wilderness, their primary source of inspiration and a reconnection between craft and nature.
    Subjects: Wilderness, Furniture, Industrial Design, Practice-based research, Wood-working, Natural materials, Product Design, Handmade, Craft and nature
    Date Created: 2017/12/19
  6. Performance Art and Its Documents: Revisiting Debates in Performance Art Documentation [Download]

    Title: Performance Art and Its Documents: Revisiting Debates in Performance Art Documentation
    Creator: Michael JH Woolley
    Description: This thesis examines issues of performance art documentation. An art historical survey contextualizes performance art practice and theory, situating the contradicting nature of performance art as a medium that both requires documentation while also denying its possibility. A detailed case study of the work of contemporary performance artist Cassils provides a point of entry for reconsidering documentation itself as a mode of doing performance art, rather than being ancillary to the work of performance. Finally, the research culminates in a research-creation project that puts into practice the ideas explored earlier in the thesis; this final chapter of the thesis is realized in both writing and as a gallery exhibition which explore and enfold the research produced through a month-long daily practice performance work engaged in by the author.
    Subjects: Art, Modern -- 20th century, Art, Modern -- 21st century, body art, performance art, contemporary art, documentation, photography, research-creation, Cassils, Jackson Pollock, Carolee Schneemann
    Date Created: 2017/09/14
  7. on being without [Download]

    Title: on being without
    Creator: Meghan Pohlod
    Description: On Being Without is an examination of trauma related to abandonment. I explore representations of the body by investigating interior and exterior space, questioning what happens when distressing memories are triggered by image, place and time. Normalization of trauma continues to be a major risk due in part to the stigma associated with mental illness. This visual research contributes a first-person perspective to theories of memory and contemporary discourses of trauma, family, and the body with the aim of de-normalization. In his book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Psychiatrist Bessel Van der Kolk explains recollection and confrontation as a constant state of living for people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I describe recollection through photographs - imposing myself upon, and reliving experiences through an emotional response to the image. I employ auto-ethnographic methodologies to visually explore the trauma of abandonment by using both personal and found archives of family photographs. Cropping the images into new compositions allows me to focus on what is missing or lost, forcing recollection of being without. I invest time with found family photographic archives in order to imagine myself as part of them, but I find that in order to believe the familial image I need to cut most of it away. What is left in these images positions the viewer as looking down at feet or observing an embrace of hands and bodies, not unlike the viewpoint of a child. I define confrontation through the body and understand it as theorist Casey Edwards describes intimate phenomenological events. In Remembering: A Phenomenological Study, Edwards explains the body physically reacts, and involuntary, habitual body patterns literally force the memory within us to respond in some way. Images (such as family photographs) trigger these trace memories and induce bodily reactions that are stored at a cellular level. I remember and confront through the body, which is phenomenological occurrence outside the brain. Integrating particular body movements through meditation and yoga, I scan my body and transfer these specific rhythms and organic movements as resolutions practices to traumatic triggers. I record these movements using monoprinting to create imprints onto paper and plastic, the traces visually suggesting cellular structures. Pairing these monotype confrontations and family photographs I am presenting an imprint in the psyche. This physical transference of unconscious memory allowed me to begin resolving the recollection and confrontation of abandonment trauma. Pairing text from theories of memories, discourses about trauma and benefits of yoga practice on clear plexiglas, I am relaying my vulnerable past with methods of resolution. Utilizing this visual and tactile act of vulnerability places the answer of being without physically in a space of being present. Illuminating with strips of light allows the work to glow from both sides referencing the body’s interior and exterior imprints. Highlighting the changes of working through trauma of abandonment and resolution towards being have become the positive recollections and confrontations.
    Subjects: body, somatic therapies, post traumatic stress disorder, memory, image/place/time, MFA thesis/Printmaking, phenomenologies, Casey Edwards, Bessel Van der Kolk, recollection/confrontation/resolution
    Date Created: 2017/12/13
  8. End-of Life Care through Design: Visualizing Places of Death [Download]

    Title: End-of Life Care through Design: Visualizing Places of Death
    Creator: Michelle Knox
    Description: This research is a visual and empirical ethnography examining the design of clinical / semi-clinical locations of death, in relation to institutionalized dying in contemporary society. Through field observations at two palliative care sites in Alberta and interviews with end-of-life healthcare professionals, it compares between hospice and hospital settings of palliation. The study attempts to understand how palliative spaces are designed, operated, and perceived, while also raising questions about whether the design of places of death—and ideas associated with them—might affect patient experiences in, public accessibility of, and social attitudes towards palliative resources.
    Subjects: palliative care , service design, ethnography, end-of-life care, hospice, ageing, death and dying, empathy, qualitative research, architecture, design thinking, visual communication, human-centred design, sociology of medicine, anthropology of place
    Date Created: 2017/11/30
  9. Edmonton Bike Share Scheme [Download]

    Title: Edmonton Bike Share Scheme
    Creator: Siyi Xie
    Description: Public transit system is the pulse of urban life. City planners are seeking solutions to promote public transit due to insufficient capacity of the road network and related environmental problems. Cycling, as one of the energy efficient transport modes, has high potential to improve the livability and sustainability of the city. Over the past decade, a significant number of bike sharing programs have emerged due to the benefits that cycling brings. Bike-sharing systems improve the accessibility and connectivity to other public transit, as well as encouraging citizens to participate in a healthy activity. The cold climate and characteristic landscape forms a unique cycling culture in Edmonton. The purpose of this thesis is to propose a possible way of conducting a bike share scheme in the city of Edmonton. An internet-based bike sharing solution is introduced, including area plan, station and bicycle design, service design and marketing strategy.
    Subjects: public bike sharing, sustainable transportation, bike infrastructure, internet-based service
    Date Created: 2017/09/29
  10. Nurturing empathy for social cohesion: Participatory, community-based communication design research with gay youth living with HIV in Lebanon [Download]

    Title: Nurturing empathy for social cohesion: Participatory, community-based communication design research with gay youth living with HIV in Lebanon
    Creator: Bahaa Harmouche
    Description: The marginalization of gay youth living with HIV (GYLWH) in Lebanese society is well documented. The topic of gay youth living with HIV in a deeply conservative and homophobic society has not been studied in any great depth. The story of gay youth in Lebanon is one of the stigmatization of minorities within and by other minorities. The question of how to break down ‘walls’ built on foundations of ignorance, intolerance, and self-loathing is yet to be examined. Using participatory, community-based communication design methods, this thesis project presents a model that uses visual communication design, in the form of digital storytelling (the making of videos), to help build trust among GYLWH in Beirut, Lebanon in order to remove barriers between groups and individuals and reduce stigma. The research project tested a design thinking process, for social designers dealing with marginalized groups, in the form of a workshop procedure that was implemented within/by a support group. This research was concerned with bridging the gap between GYLWH and their community, using visual communication design as a means of initiating a dialogue between the two groups. The research shed light on the lives and experiences of gay youth living with the virus. This process had a dual effect. It helped GYLWH to build confidence by allowing them to speak up and express themselves through sharing their stories with their community, and it nurtured empathy in gay youth (GY) by exposing them to the realities of living with HIV and by opening a discourse that resulted in their personal growth.
    Subjects: social design, gay youth living with HIV , Lebanon, participatory research, community based research, social cohesion, empathy, human centered design, digital videos, visual communication, heterotopia, HIV stigma and marginalization
    Date Created: 2017/09/28