A plea for sentience : an exegesis submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of Masters of Fine Arts, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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Massey University
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This thesis is a tale of uncovering Senties by the author/artist — Tiffany Tucker, whilst interweaving intersecting theories to address themes of fear, feelings, feminism and fairy-tales. The pieces created stem from the raw emotions that come out of Tucker's borderline personality disorder (BPD), and are in response to this absurd digital, post-____ world. Senties are colourful beings, which can shift and adapt to different mediums. They are a form of emotional catharsis without fetishization of identity to remind and provoke the viewer/reader of their own emotions. In this decade, where weaponry is more accessible than therapy, there is a complacency to destruction. The work is grounded in surrealism and humour, alongside moustached men of the past. Tucker brings forth the strength of 'woman's work' of craft and care to guide their hands¹. Historical sampling and psychedelia are building blocks of this practice, informed by an empathetic nature for outsiders. This practice is a parody of perfection. Tucker works with an array of mediums with a level of faux-naivety approaching each piece, a sort of 'raw-dog' approach. They work with a combination of cheap/accessible materials and put them through processes that require detailed, skilled craftsmanship to create works of art. In this document, Tucker unpacks their journey with Senties relating to the endeavour of academic research, artmaking and validates their existence with an exploration of emotional abject and moralistic media. ¹ Writer Lucy Lippard observed that the Women's Movement in the 1970s empowered artists with the confidence to draw upon feminine differences in artmaking (Women's Work).
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