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Year of Graduation

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Directing Professor

Ashley Wolff

Abstract

From the dawn of civilization, shadows have evoked a variety of emotional responses—instilling fear, piquing curiosity, inspiring awareness—by their mysterious and changeable nature. Shadows are an absence of light, but they cannot exist without a source of illumination. In their duality, not only can they reveal or conceal, but they also can be translated as either positive or negative space. Silhouettes, the artform subsequently derived from capturing these shadows, shares these dichotomies. Tracing the shadow’s dark history through slavery and into the present reveals important cultural implications for artists and illustrators who work with silhouettes. Creating the black-and-white illustrations for Jungle of the Night provided an opportunity to delve more deeply into the purpose and use of silhouettes and shadows while moving from the realism of the first dummy, Navy Quilt of Night, to the stylization of the second, Tryouts Tonight, to the art of minimalism in the final dummy, Jungle of the Night.

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