By Haylee Ebersole

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My MFA Thesis Exhibition, POROUS SEDIMENTS, featured an array of sculptural objects, graphite drawings, monotype prints, and digital media. To produce this work, I utilized the services and equipment from the @Lab and received technical feedback from Nathan, who is awesome. The following text is the artist statement from the exhibition.

POROUS SEDIMENTS is a series of works comprised of residual traces. While the term porous describes the material nature of this work, it also embodies a particular way of thinking and making. In my practice, each process is permeable where the actions and residuals from one become the generative premise for the next.

The sculptural objects in this show, altogether, consist of 100 pounds of dehydrated gelatin. Gelatin, a substance literally made up of body—collagen extracted from animal skins, bones, and connective tissues—provides the material basis for my conceptual inquiry. Resembling the ways that skin and fat fluctuate in response to what surrounds our bodies, gelatin responds to fluctuations in moisture and heat, yielding various phase transitions from solid to liquid and in between. Each form that emerges through this process is eventually reconstituted, melted down and transformed into a new state. In this way, the gelatin takes on a cyclical and corporeal existence, continually coming into and out of being.

While inhabiting a very tangible presence, this work is embedded with the possibility of change. Through the displacement of air or a shifting in humidity, gelatin forms may faintly waver or suddenly collapse. In some instances, this change manifests through metaphor. Densities of line obscure form, layers of plastic wrap accumulate into a restrictive barrier, and indexical impressions capture surfaces of gelatin remnants no longer in existence.


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