Augustina Droze

My current body of studio work illustrates my use of meditation as a coping mechanism for stress and the rhythmic trance-like effect that repeated imagery has on the mind. I have focused on the theme of reproduction, influenced heavily by my recent experience of pregnancy and birth and my reliance on mediation as a survival coping mechanism to work through the various layers of anxiety that accompanied it. Using organic subjects such as fish, birds, cells, plants and insects in groupings I investigate the theme of regeneration and the obsession at the macro and micro levels. The rhythmic quality of the identical items causes the viewer to become lost in the compulsive arrangement and transported to a transient state, similar to the destination I turned to in desperation through the process of childbirth. Different species are used as metaphors for phases of the reproductive cycle: birds signifying trophy and transcendence, fish represent sacrifice, and insects illustrate anxiety and ephemerality. The imagery is arranged in various groupings of multiples, each composition speaking to the emotive quality of the organic object. The items are rendered at varying levels of realism, from realistic paintings to childish stuffed animal representations. The tedious craftsmanship involved in the multiplication of the objects is in itself a coping strategy as I continue to battle through the challenges of childbirth and motherhood.


Mark Snyder


Death Drives A Dragster

As soon as I was old enough to work I took a job so I could buy a car. The first car I bought was a dragster.
It was a 1965 Plymouth Satellite that the owner used to drag race until he broke his back. I bought the car in a form that was ready to race but with no motor. So the second car I bought was my dad’s Plymouth Fury III. I knew nothing really mechanical about cars but figured I could put my Dad’s engine in my car. Out of sheer luck and the kind of ignorance that allows you to do things you don’t know you can’t, I managed to merge two completely incompatible cars into one car, my car.
For my thesis show I will be building a dragster. At this time I have no idea whether it will function or not, but this kind of unknowing attempt is rudimentary to my general processes. The Dragster will be modeled after the early 1970’s style of a front-engine, sling-shot design. With its straight-line speed and a driver’s need for complete focus on the goal, the dragster represents a part of America from my youth that I feel has faded. As children we are indoctrinated into societal norms through our schools, in neighborhoods and via T.V. ¬†Wide World of Sports use to broadcast Evel Knievel jumps into our living rooms. And with friends we would attempt bicycle versions in our front lawn. Living on a street with a hill meant that we would also race anything that would move down it from tricycles to skateboards to go-carts. When my friends and I got old enough we all bought cars. Cars represented freedom, mobility and escape. Fast cars represented, skill, daring and need to run the razors edge between life and death; a fatalistic drive, a need to crush out things one did not want to think about or to crush out ones own life.