Heather Boyd MFA Visual Studies Thesis 2019

In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight, is a photographic series that explores how identity is shaped through personal histories held within a historical context. This conversation centers around my female body and offers a critical distance to explore how I have experienced gendering as a restriction of possibility as well as the realization of how learned restrictions became self-imposed within my own domestic space. My work reveals what happens after repeatedly coming up against ‘sharp objects’ within the home in the form of unwanted misogynistic jokes from a father, or the unasked-for act of walking on eggshells to make a male partner feel comfortable and in control. Over time, these repeated encounters with sharp objects became internalized and resulted in a self-reduction of taking up space in the form of hiding in plain sight.

This photographic series is an exploration of a personal relationship to domestic space shaped through histories that hurt. In Plain Sight, creates a visual space for feelings of sadness, unhappiness and an exploration of self-regulation. On unhappiness Sara Ahmed explores melancholic subjects, who refuse to let go of suffering, as a way to examine the social construction of happiness. Within this model, having a concern with histories that hurt is not then a backward orientation. Rather to move on, you must make this return.

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MFA in Visual Studies Thesis Works