Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



Trials and Tributaries examines recent disasters occurring in southern Louisiana, interpreted through the Greek myths The Twelve Labors of Herakles. Mankind’s false sense of control over Louisiana’s resources leaves us vulnerable to nature’s powerful acts of reclamation: hurricanes, floods and the ground sinking beneath our feet. While researching the details and origins of The Twelve Labors, I found a plethora of similarities with local culture, politics and natural disasters. The characters in these narrative prints include hybrid monsters drawn from Greek mythology, which I have then further augmented with various forms of local south Louisiana fauna and contemporary political figures. I explore events ranging from Hurricane Katrina of 2005; the BP oil spill in the Gulf, Summer 2010; and the raging university budget cuts going on during my thesis year, 2010-11. The exhibition consisted of nine woodcut prints on repurposed bed sheet fabrics, appliqué stitched together to form colorful, layered surfaces. Accompanying the prints were a collection of crocheted floor pieces called “foot prints,” which incorporated scrap fabric from the printing process as well as clothing donations. The pluming shapes of the “foot prints” mirror Doppler images of monstrous weather conditions, encroaching on painfully smaller coastal cities and ecosystems. This powerful image of pluming dangerous substances or weather systems is the embodiment of the force behind Trials and Tributaries.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Arp, Kimberly



Included in

Fine Arts Commons