MFA thesis

Legend Systems: an escape to a hidden land

MFA Thesis Exhibition, March 1-5, 2021

My MFA Exhibition is composed of three main projects, Human/Nature, Sometimes Islands, and Data Mountains. Details below.

Human / Nature

909 Lindsey St., Denton Texas, 76201

2020, site-specific sculpture installation. Soil, plants, vines, trash, tire

Human/Nature is a site-specific sculpture installation in a small empty lot, next to the noisy IH-35 freeway in Denton, Texas. It consists of six human head-shaped sculptures made with soil, plants, discarded materials, and Greenbrier Vine, all from the same area. The lot is currently owned by the Texas Department of Transportation; however, traces of a driveway are visible from the street, perhaps from a previous house. My purpose is to call attention to the disparity of urban development by placing a familiar shape such as a human face in a green space surrounded by loud traffic noise, contrasting the singing of wild birds. I ask the viewer to question what is nature? Where is nature?

Sometimes Islands

2020 (32°54’22.7″N 96°53’57.5″W)

Dallas, Texas.

Sometimes Islands is a site-specific sculpture installation at the High Five Interchange at the junction of the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway (Interstate 635, I-635), and the Central Expressway (US Highway 75, US 75), in Dallas county. The interchange was designed to improve traffic flow as well as the drainage system that prevents flooding from Lewisville Lake Dam water release into tributaries of the Elm Fork Trinity River.[1] The water runoff at the interchange creates large flood pools that may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the seasonal rain.   

The installation consists of eleven small terrain-like structures made from discarded foam and plastic bottles from the same area, and are layered with a variety of fresh soils that I gathered from public lands all over Texas during 2019. The fresh and colorful soils will slowly wash away into the land mixing with each rain drop like a curative infusion bringing healing to the polluted and marginalized plot of land. With this intervention, I bring hope to the small area and feed it with a taste of soils that are still healthy and cared for in other plots of land. 

[1] Carter Burgess, Nathan D Maier, Drainage System Report for the Proposed IH 635 (LBJ Freeway) Improvements West Section – Luna Road to Skillman Street, 3-1.

Data Mountains

2021, tree branches and sticks collected from various neighborhoods in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, weaved together with twine.

Environmental Education, Science and Technology Atrium, UNT

Data Mountains is large sculpture made with tree branches and sticks collected over the months of December 2020 through February 2021, from 13 neighborhoods in Denton, Fort Worth, Dallas, Flower Mound, McKinney, Plano, Arlington, and Grapevine. The process involved driving to each neighborhood and walking an average distance of 2-3 miles in the streets collecting tree branches and sticks off the sidewalk. The tree branches and sticks were weaved with twine into semi-geometric, semi-organic shapes that can be arranged as a large sculpture outlining a mountain range.

I tracked myself with a GPS application for each day of walking which resulted in thirteen individual maps defining the shape I made walking in each neighborhood. During the week of February 14-20th, Texas endured a historical snow accumulation that caused state-wide power outages, property damage, and multiple deaths. The icy roads prevented me from driving and walking, therefore, I tracked myself inside my house for four hours. The map shows only a few lines of movement.


MFA Exhibition Installation Views

March 1-5, 2021

Video documentation of research and exhibition