BFA Thesis

Recollecting Girlhood

What constitutes a memory? Is it a recalling of a moment in the past or a snapshot of time gone by? Maybe a memory is the way the wind felt in your hair on the way home from school, or how the neighbors pool smells in late august. I think memories are more alive than we give them credit for, bursting with vitality and delivering their presence in the most unsuspecting of moments when our pasts are inevitably reawakened by the children with whom were envious of.

       My work delivers the bittersweet nostalgia that comes with the confrontation of recollection. It romanticizes girlhood and the innocence of juvenescence. The paintings are alive and everchanging within the context of the viewer.  Some are left unresolved, the significance growing and settling in a unique spot of each onlooker.

     Each demanding stroke speaks to the formation of identity. Painted in a way that evokes a sense of playfulness, we see the repeating motif of a girl. To me the girl is Layney. That being said, the girl is also myself, the girl might even be you. She is unapologetically careening through the early years of her life, distinguishing herself daily through the way she conforms to, or breaks the expectations of society. 

     There is no better medium for these works than oil paint. It’s adaptable, yet sure of itself. With long drying times and opaque pigments, the large paintings had the ability to be reworked and consistently altered.  These were important elements in the effort to keep large scale paintings feeling new and fresh. The final result yields a careful hastiness relevant to the subject matter.

     This collection is an ode to the big moments that once seemed small. Formative childhood memories that live on inside of us as adults every day. A lavish application of paint serves as reminder that time is not linear, and that youthfulness has no age.  Whether she is reluctantly trying something new or strutting in confidence, Layney lives in all of us.