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Nichols, Charlotte, author
Getty, Nilda, advisor
Kwiatkowski, Ronald W., committee member
Mitchell, Carol, committee member

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Circulation of internal and external currents within a sculptural form is the major focus of the work in this thesis. As a contemporary interpretation of medieval waterspouts found in Gothic architecture, these gargoyles act to catch, circulate and expel the viewer's visual currents. In addition, these forms constitute a personal interpretation of the flow of human emotional currents circulating internally, erupting, entering and flowing away from man's receptacle. Two distinctly different sculptural forms, mechanical and organic, have been combined in the development of these gargoyles. Geometric surfaces of grids, movable connections of sockets and tubing, constitute the mechanical facades of humanity. They act as an armor to protect and house man's emotions. The organic forms containing recognizable human qualities create an identifiable relationship between the viewer and the sculpture. This relationship establishes a bond between mechanical and organic forms, both acting as human characteristics. Hollow systems were incorporated in these gargoyles to establish an internal flow throughout each piece. Rather than directing a physical flow of water as did their medieval counterparts, these systems act to channel the eye of the viewer. Openings allow entrance into receptacles whereas spillways and exits enable the eye to pour out over external surfaces. The visual currents circulated by these forms represent the movement of emotions within mankind. The human body is the receptacle for emotions, yet unlike physical circulation confined within sealed systems, our emotional currents are free to come and go. To enter and dwell within us, to seep out of crevices, our feelings are at liberty to erupt and splash onto mechanical facades. The viewer plays an active part in establishing the currents within these gargoyles. Human characteristics create rapport, non-human aspects stimulate inquiry into meanings which ultimately reach inside man's emotions. Perhaps these gargoyles, manifestations of emotional currents, will give the viewer a new insight into human sensitivity and feeling.


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Metal sculpture


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