MFA Thesis Show: Cornered / by Kat Howard

 I finally received the installation shots from my MFA Thesis Show: Cornered! It feels fantastic to see these images to remind me that 8 hours of install time, and 3 straight months of construction, really payed off. I'm so proud of the work that I completed; being able to see visitors interact with the quilts and listen to them share their personal experiences of the installation with me, was truly worthwhile. Here's the wall label that accompanied the show:

This project interrogates woman's relationship to the domestic space, themes of the gothic, and the haunting dependence that some women have with the home, historically and even in the present. To articulate this idea, I used my own writing combined with language from the diaries of the Brontë sisters, as a lens through which to explore the woman whose home and most intimate surroundings are the very instruments of the imprisonment of her mind, body and personhood.

The Brontë sisters wrote wildly imaginative stories, while their real lives were restricted and controlled by their father. How is this struggle towards duality represented in the secret spaces of the home, in the language of the walls, corners, doorways and other charged locations? By interrogating this relationship, I used it as a metaphor to explore the line between public and private, where that line is, and when it is blurred. The Brontës frequently turned towards their intimate surroundings as a metaphor for emotions and feelings that they were forbidden to express outright in the home. Many aspects of the self are buried in this landscape. I'm interested in excavating these sites, to uncover what is obstructed behind the façade, to remove the myth of an idealized home, and examine what lingers.