Maria Eppich

Senior Project April 2015


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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd, South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000 or (800) 590-3428

“Everybody has good and bad forces working with them, against them, and within them.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun

At the heart of the human condition is our reaction to change, and how we respond to challenging circumstances defines who we are. The struggle to understand any situation leads to how we will respond to what is happening. As humans we will not always choose the right or preferred path but whether good or bad they are our choices. Each choice or reaction we make is an answer to the situation and choices made under pressure often generate transformative experiences. As we make choices, they can cause more chaos or can peacefully put the situation to rest where we can move on. When I went through my own life changing experience my response to the situation could not evolve in a positive direction until I learned acceptance.

The idea of challenging choices and transformational experiences is relevant to me. I have gone to many lengths to understand why I developed epilepsy at the age of 12; it was difficult to accept what happened and I became trapped with many unanswered questions. As I grew older, realization and acceptance were part of the process of my own transformation and determined how I reacted to the situation. My fears and unanswered questions held me back and I made a choice not to let that happen. These works explore and represent going through such a transformative experience, using stages of insect metamorphosis as a metaphor. The egg represents the situation unfolding, the nymph, adolescent and adult stages after that represent the responses and choices made towards the circumstance. The insect and human worlds are vast and different in their own way, but certain features in the delicately jointed bodies of insects remind me of our own limbs, and especially of our bone structure.

Drawing in particular was a way for me to understand my emotions. I have always drawn the body, it helped me to heal as I dealt with my epilepsy. The work begins with carefully outlining in pencil the bodies of the creature using life drawings of those around me as a reference. My preferred medium is ink from well-used Micron ink pens. I can not use them brand new since the ink flows freely and I have less control, so I dry them out by using them for other works. To obtain an even pattern I work the pen in cross-hatching or circular motions layering the ink as I work. Charcoal is another medium I use, it is much easier to manipulate compared to ink which is permanent. The charcoal is like the idea behind the pieces itself in the way it can be transformed. Lastly, dry point etching is another favorite method of mine, and I am fascinated with the ability to etch into the surface of copper. Great effects can be achieved with line work and the combination of subtle lines with harsher ones. The ability to change and transform media is similar to how we, as human beings, can change and transform ourselves.