Date of Degree
MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Gratama, Jan Albert
Sight is the most important of our five senses. It allows us to navigate our environment, find food and avoid danger. Sight can be used to accurately render a drawing or to recognize nuance in a form. It can also be used in more dynamic ways to parse the complicated social systems and customs that build our societies. Despite all that we can see, we are inundated with what we cannot. This inability to see can be categorized into two subdivisions: items that possess characteristics that are beyond our eye's physical capacity of perception (e.g. microscopic objects or electromagnetic radiation) and items and situations whose exact presence goes unnoticed due to our mind's conditioning from repeated exposure (e.g. glass in a window frame or halftone dots that form a printed picture).
Through the use of special instruments or awareness raising techniques these invisible objects can be brought to light. Artists and their art have often played important roles in society by revealing things that go unnoticed and making them plain to see for all. These revelations can be as simple as capturing the beauty of a natural landscape or as controversial as portraying the impact of religion, gender or oppression in our communities. My most recent set of prints investigate "seeing the unseen" by meditating on the minutiae and microscopic organisms that permeate our surroundings yet escape our attention. By utilizing handmade paper's tactile qualities, juxtaposing seemingly dissimilar objects and the use of bold and often times unnatural color, I have attempted to create a space where items of different scales can exist side by side so we can revel in their wonder, discover visual similarities between objects and plainly see them with our own eyes.
Dard Hunter, Microorganisms, Papermaking, Printmaking, Screen Printing, Seeing
v, 16 pages
Copyright 2012 Christopher Michael Forsythe
Forsythe, Christopher Michael. "Seeing the unseen: revealing invisible and visible minutiae." MFA (Master of Fine Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2012.