The blue print : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Massey University, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

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"The subject of how art communicates and registers, even prevents or fuels anxiety and depression has been in my practice for a long time. I recall in the second year of my visual arts degree at Otago University in Dunedin how I considered jewellery in relation to the body and identity. Since then, I have been interested in combining sensorial and semiotic aspects of diverse materials in order to explore this liminal space between myself and others. I originally intended to study Art Therapy after that degree. After discussing this idea with my jewellery tutor Johanna Zellmer, I realised that I wanted to develop an art practice rather than pursue the study of clinical art therapy. Throughout this MFA journey, I have noticed that by situating my work further away from the body than jewellery and moving to installation has surprisingly led me to a more introspective and reflective research practice. In a sense, modulating space and objects with a looser relation to the body and its spatial experience drove me further into my own interiority. As the jewellery works felt more like they were reaching out to the outside world or an expression of the barriers between the inside and outside, the installation works have somehow switched the direction of the valve: I became more concerned with how much of the outside was coming in, and how it affected me. In a sense, I switched my view of this in-between space. Instead of blocking and filling this space with stuff to protect or cushion myself—packaging and foam—I became more interested in negotiating the borders and seeing how objects, spaces and materials entered and affected the space, and how much I would let them in. I asked myself: How was the border operating? My experience of anxiety and depression has always been rooted in a scattered sense of identity. I have found my art practice to revolve around how I perceived my own self in relation to others. With installation, I am still exploring this border; I want to understand a little further not what I actively and consciously do in this location, but how this location was unconsciously shaped, and how it influences the way I operate within it. Maybe with installation, I have been developing a more mature "border" process. How can I describe this fluctuation and the elements that constitute it? In the first chapter of this exegesis, I will identify the challenges of depression and anxiety at present and set my intentions in response to them. The second and third chapters will establish the use of water as central to my practice and explore the ways I use it in relation to my experience of depression and anxiety as an artist. Chapter Four will attempt to inscribe my practice in a broader context. Chapters Five, and Six further elaborate themes which frequently emerge in my practice, and Chapter Seven will offer some preliminary intents for the examined work in this MFA journey"--Preface