Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Visual & Public Arts

First Advisor

Stephanie Johnson

Second Advisor

Angelica Muro


The idea for my capstone project - Selcouth - derives from my interest in photography, photo editing software, and images of altered bodies. Digital photo editing gives me a chance to play with, manipulate, and escape reality. It even allows me to create a new reality. Furthermore, I am drawn to surreal, whimsical, and odd images because they evoke my curiosity, lead me to a path of reflection, and leave room for the viewer's own interpretation.

For Selcouth I took digital portrait photographs of five strong and independent female family members of different generations, including a self portrait. In a creative process of distortion and morphing the body I developed new and unexpected forms that reject physical conformity and visual norms. Those aspects are psychosocial manmade constructs, and I see conformity and norms as a "covert" pulling at and trying to press us all into specific forms of beauty, fashion, and behavior. Through the incorporation of thread sewn on the image I want to represent this "invisible" power. The women in my portraits are breaking free from those limitations; morphing into the bodies that they want to inhabit and that manifest who they truly are. Selcouth represents an act of empowering, believing in yourself, and finding your own way. The portraits were taken in the wilderness because I see nature as a metaphor of 'transformation'. I believe in purification and self-discovery through the experiences with nature. By using black and white film I want to draw the viewers' attention to shapes, textures, contrast, highlights, and shadows.

The interplay between the organic forms of the re-formed bodies and the geometric patterns created with thread allows the viewer to be curious and encourages them to reflect on today's body norms and ideals, and our conception of it.

With Selcouth I want to join and add to the current conversations about the beauty standard by contributing my perspective about embracing differences with this visual project. My goal is to portray humanity and expand the parameters of what defines "beauty" as we know it.