Art, Art History and Design, School of


First Advisor

Margaret Bohls

Date of this Version


Document Type



Copyright (c) 2017 Iren Tete


My work is a translation of memories, experiences, and languages into shapes, colors, and symbols. The fragmented relationship with my cultural identity is easier to deconstruct when paired down to an exploration of process, form, and color. Ideas of containment, strength, and beauty are translated into line, form, and color. A color palette that is predominantly white and black represents my cultural dichotomy. Addressing a perpetual, yet elusive, quest for balance, these colors coexist within forms but are never seamlessly integrated.

I address dichotomies directly through process. Through pinching, coiling, slab-building, and wheelthrowing I vacillate between the need for structure and the desire to capture a playful spontaneity. Strong visual cues - patterns, repetition of forms, contrasting colors - reconcile these desires and establish a visual coherence. Pinch marks create a visual rhythm, imbuing the forms with a casual relaxation. Precise geometric forms serve as a study of not only visual, but also structural, typologies. A vocabulary of architectural forms is implemented to represent strength, fortitude, and time.

Form and shape exploration facilitate my personal visual language development. This language which utilizes simplified shapes is composed to exhibit a visual tension, or playful awkwardness, that translates into a sensory experience, both visually and tactilely. Personal and formal fragmentation are addressed not only through visual cues but also through the idea of containment that unites the work. The idea of containment serves as anchor - visual, emotional, cultural.

Advisor: Margaret Bohls

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