Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Art and Design

Committee Chair(s)

Dave Smellie


Dave Smellie


Mike Daines


Bob Winward


Kathy Puzey


This exhibition represents an experimental body of work completed for the Caine College of the Arts. It explores the interplay of explicit and implicit functions within semiotics, while simultaneously communicating the college’s messages and honestly representing my own aesthetic ideals. Through the treatment of these explorations I hope to create an aesthetic experience for the viewer. That stems from my own ideology – which consists of a myriad of conscious and subconscious beliefs – that make up who I am as a designer.

My conception of form arises from an essentialist approach to space and shape. This conception developed out of stripping ornament and detail, leaving visible only structural and proportional elements. The treatment is sparse at times and rigorous, but strives for a type of honesty. Much of the layout is determined by mathematical forms and systematic intervals. This aesthetic is more rough and concrete than lyrical and abstract. The forms I reference are indebted to older industrial forms, including among others the ubiquitous factory folk-art of North America. They strive for functional unpretentiousness. Like the realist painters I seek inspiration from ordinary people doing their ordinary tasks.

Emphasizing the form and the aesthetic experience can create an interesting dynamic in the work. It creates visual interest but runs the risk of overthrowing its original intended function by delaying or frustrating quick comprehension. As a result, an emphasis on the implicit function, can oftentimes lead to failure because of its inherent ambiguity and decentered messaging. This work represents explorations of the limits within semiotic systems and communication and explores the aesthetic dimension and meaning within form itself.