Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art



First Reader/Committee Chair

Brad Spence


William Christensen DWELLER What does it mean to become someone else? What does that mean for the identity of the person before they became this character? These questions have become a focal point for my work. I have been employing the self-portrait as a means of transforming myself into a different character. For this body of work I have written a short story, which is the basis for my artwork. This story is about the main character's grasp on reality slipping away from him and his shift from sanity to insanity. The different papers and styles come together as one amalgam of a scene in the process of transforming before the viewers' eyes. These drawings contain two different sets of drawings within each piece of artwork. The drawing, with ink on the white stonehenge .Paper, is a scene taken from the story and the graphite drawing on the brown stonehenge paper is a self-portrait. The graphite drawings on the brown paper consists of a series of pictures taken of me turning my head and changing my facial expressions in order to .imitate my perception of a person who is losing their mind. I then proceed to crumble up the drawings, and glue them on top of one another. From the inked drawing that lies on top, I begin to tear away the paper in order to let the under drawing show through. With the crinkled and the roughness of the papers it accomplishes the venture of showing the frailty and fickleness of the character. The blending of the two papers into each other gives the work a dreamlike sense that is hopefully open to interpretation from the viewer. One could come to the conclusion that this is a non-threatening dream, or a nightmare.

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