Patsy Gelb BFA Thesis Spring 2012

Natural Expansion

This body of work and research emerged from my deep fascination with natural history museums and the devices of display designed to describe the natural world. My interest in these didactic exhibits lies in the crafted dioramas, models, paintings, and specimens that together create pictures of prehistory. The initial intrigue comes from my curiosity of birds and their dinosaur ancestors.
Beyond my initial fascination, the heart of my thesis work is an exploration of the roles of art, artifice and fiction within the world of natural science. Specifically illuminating how art can be utilized as a mechanism to understand and expand upon an empirical world. As a passionate amateur I have and will continue to explore this through some traditional genres of natural history, including museum display, to create my own expansions on prehistoric life. I will discuss my preliminary influences, as well as artists, scientists and thinkers working within these themes that for me expose the somewhat discrete symbiotic relationship of art and science. This work has allowed me to play, and give my own theorized creatures a natural history.

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Spring 2012