My thesis work was the exploration and thinking of the outbursts that can occur out of hiding emotions in people's minds, and the prejudice against mental illness. It was based on a question in my mind: Is psychological injury a real injury? If so, why do people always advocate gratitude for suffering? Why is it that when someone is experiencing frustration and pain, it's just seen as an obstacle to become a better person? What about the scars that these extreme emotions create, the ones that are hidden deep within people's hearts, under the polite and cheerful appearance that they strive to maintain every day? Do we really need to be grateful for the suffering? Is it possible that the indelible pain that's being left behind mental injury behind this facade of, "being better" is being ignored? With these questions, and after a lot of research, testing and developing, I chose two groups of works with different ways to express my thinking. The first work was very intuitive and straightforward. I tried to show the collapsed state that destroyed people's mind and body. The state that seemed normal on the outside,but exploded into ruins on the inside. I intend to magnify and reshape the inner pain that people cannot see directly. I feel that this type of large installation will allow the audience to be immersed within the pieces and bring out the most direct feelings. What you see in that moment is what you feel. In the second work, I learned new techniques such as embroidery, and woodworking, and used many materials which related to the first group of work,but utilized different techniques.I combined embroidery,a very traditional technique, with contemporary art in a special way: fusing the medium, which was ordinarily more 2d into a 3d work, combining plastic and other materials in order to create something wholly new and modern. The work that is presented to the audience in the end is exquisite, clean, ornamental, and seems completely unrelated to the first group of work. It requires people to think about the true meaning under this mask of exquisite skin. I think the combination of these two groups of works allow my concept to be completed, helping the audience understand mental illness better, and allowing for the realization that we should be more imaginative about the suffering of others. In other words, I want to help to de-stigmatize mental illness.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Mixed media sculpture--Themes, motives; Color prints--Themes, motives; Mental illness in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Metals and Jewelry Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CAD)


Leonard Urso

Advisor/Committee Member

Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez

Advisor/Committee Member

John Aasp


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes