Alicia Amberson

 

My work examines themes of mental illness, domestic abuse, collective memory, and trauma. By investigating the ways in which we navigate trauma, I hope to build a bridge between the shared psychological state experienced by the viewer and the communal space created by the work. Using a fountain as a metaphor for the body, my sculptures define the space they inhabit through the juxtaposition of dense, hulking forms and the incessant churning of a water pump. The ubiquity and variability of water interacts with the immutable nature of materials including steel, plastic, ceramic, and Styrofoam. While made with temporary materials, my work often references forms that represent eternity, such as sacred geometry, divination texts, and religious iconography. My sculptures point to heightened experiences of intense, suffocating emotion and feelings of otherness created by mental illness. In engaging with the extreme heights and depths of my own experience with severe mental illness, I endeavor to bring to light the mechanisms of the human psyche to which we can all relate. My work is both autobiographical and empirical, aimed at revealing systems of thought that persist throughout various mental states.

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