Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Mayer, Gabrielle Lorraine

Author's Keywords

Courtship; Doilies; Feminine objects; Relationships; Wallpaper; Marriage & divorce


Mixed media textiles--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions; Mixed media painting--Kentucky--Louisville--Exhibitions


My work focuses on repurposing historic images and feminine objects to create a contemporary dialogue about the traditions of courtship, marriage and divorce. The use of textiles and feminine objects such as doilies, lace, slips and wallpaper serve as the visual foundation of my work. I am interested in how these objects, often combined with selected texts, create metaphors regarding relationships. Courtship, marriage and divorce are the three potential steps of a relationship. This thesis is arranged into three chapters: materials, themes, and influences found within my studio research and subsequent MA in Studio Arts Exhibition, Dames, Doilies, & Divorce Chapter One explains the use of materials throughout my work. Because I am a mixed media/collage artist, the materials I choose, have a direct impact on my work visually and conceptually. Throughout this chapter I will explain the importance and use of lace, wallpaper samples, selected text, historic images, and other feminine/masculine materials. For example, by veiling materials such as lace and lingerie-like fabrics, I am creating a sense of allure and desire. Layering of gender specific materials also assist in the visual exploration of courtship, marriage, and divorce. Chapter Two explores themes of relationships. Courtship, marriage, and divorce are the three main themes represented within my work. By using specific materials, I am creating metaphors of these stages; and often selected materials and themes will overlap within the body of work. In exploring these areas, I am examining the traditions and realities that are the foundation of any relationship. Chapter Three pertains to influences. I will focus on how other artists, time periods, and genres of art inspire my work. Because I have a background in both graphic design and art history, I believe elements from these areas filter into my current work. I am highly influenced by images of the past, specifically the Rococo Period and the 1960’s. For example, William Hogarth’s Marriage-A-La-Mode series of paintings serve as a rich historical reference and I have extracted his figures from the paintings in order to explore different concepts of marriage such as: the settlement, the inspection (separate lives), and infidelity. Another example is found within The Progression Series, in which I utilized found images taken from 1960’s LIFE magazines. Within Dames, Doilies, & Divorce, I believe the importance of materials, themes, and influences all rely on each other in order to be successful. Traces of this can be found both conceptually and visually in my work. I am questioning the traditions of courtship, marriage and divorce, but I am also interested in how they are repurposed as a contemporary dialogue about relationships.