My thesis centered initially around Ottessa Moshfegh’s 2018 novel “My Year of Rest And Relaxation”. The story follows an unnamed narrator as she decides the way she will overcome past trauma and unfulfillment is to sleep for an entire year. She achieves this year of sleep with the use of prescription pills. While only leaving her upper east side apartment to visit her psychiatrist for more pills or going to the bodega at the end of the block. Soon this addiction takes over and she begins to isolate herself entirely except for one friend. Dealing with themes of addiction, mental health, consumerism, family, and living as a woman in New York City in the early 2000s - I was interested in trying to understand a narrator who is ultimately self-destructive and incredibly apathetic.
Ironically, I thought I would be doing the opposite of this narrator - spending my time working all day and night on this project and being surrounded by my classmates. Instead, as we all are, I’ve found myself in a situation eerily similar to hers. I have now moved back to my hometown in Pennsylvania and am only interacting with two other people, my parents. I soon found that places and activities that were once familiar are now quite foreign. It seemed right to shift this project from Moshfegh’s novel to my own experience, as it now tied perfectly with her novel.
Taking this idea of the Strangely Mundane, I have created pieces that tell my narrative during this quarantine. Imagining a possible future where we are still isolated but have limited interaction because of the use of suits that cover ourselves entirely. The patterns adorning these pieces comes from both my love of painting them and when layered, their almost otherworldly quality. The narrative is familiar to all of us, washing our hands, going to the grocery store, or sitting on our cellphones - yet they all feel abnormal, now taking on vital and possibly costly importance.