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Title: Unburdened
Physical Description: 26 p.
Language: English
Creator: Coughlin, Patrick Thomas ( Dissertant )
Arbuckle, Linda ( Thesis advisor )
Smith, Nan ( Reviewer )
Holcombe, Anna Calluori ( Reviewer )
Lake, Lauren Garber ( Reviewer )
Mueller, Bob ( Reviewer )
Publisher: College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Art, M.A   ( local )
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Art   ( local )
Genre:
 Notes
Abstract: Heritage is our inherited traditions, monuments, objects, and culture. These traditions and objects, if embraced, are an aid in constructing the makeup of our lives and personal characteristics. Identity may be defined as a set of characteristics recognized as belonging uniquely to our experiences and personality. Farming communities, for instance, create a condition whereby individuals have a strong heritage connecting them to place, position and purpose. These inherited values provide people in these communities and families with meaning and a sense of security and place. This helps define a personal reason for and way of being. When active participation in farming is inaccessible to the next generation, forming identity from those elements becomes a pursuit fraught with ambiguity. Descendants of this way of life must find new ways to connect and participate in their heritage or unburden themselves and forge new values and lineage. If identity is too strongly rooted in community or family experiences no longer available, abandoning them is difficult. Memorializing the lost heritage becomes the only viable solution. Artifacts become placeholders for absent experiences, charged with the task of embodying the breadth of experiences of which they were once only a part. Preservation and veneration of the newly-assigned relics permits a new participation, albeit a diminished one, where the markers for identity can still hold true. Unburdened explores the veneration of objects that are a proxy for heritage experiences that normally form identity. Markers for the material culture of a working class’s heritage may be symbolized by tools of labor and vice: shovel, yoke, sickle, and bottle. These symbols are paired with trees and flora-based pattern: signifiers of growth and tradition. The disparity between physical space and two-dimensional space is the stage where the activity of discarding heritage outright, or finding a new way to interact with it, occurs. That which is bodily accessible and that which is illusionary separate the traditions that are either embraced or shunned. Regardless of appearance, a laden importance permeates the work through materiality, pattern, scale and pseudo-religious structure as a means to sanctify what cannot be properly honored in its intended form. What takes place when these collective conditions, in part or whole, are outmoded or anachronistic? How do we ascribe value to seemingly outdated concepts and customs originated by forbearers who created them to manage a world and experiences that barely resemble our own? Unburdened is a monument to this investigation of responsibility to the past.
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 26 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2005.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
Acquisition: Ceramics terminal project
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00102053:00001

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Copyright
        Page 2
    Acknowledgement
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Abstract
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Main
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
Full Text





UNBURDENED


By

PATRICK THOMAS COUGHLIN















A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF FINE ARTS

U NIVE RS ITY O F F LORI DA

2010
































@ 2010 Patrick Thomas Coughlin









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank my faculty, Linda Arbuckle and Nan Smith. Their patience, support and

sincere guidance has been a great kindness. I learned much about ceramics from them,

but am most thankful for the lessons that transcend the boundaries of academia that

have revealed something of myself and who I wish to be. Secondly, my supervisory

committee, Anna Calluori Holcombe, Lauren Garber Lake and Bob Mueller, deserves

my sincere gratitude. Their insight and consideration for my process and work were

invaluable and will sustain my practice for years to come. Lastly, I thank my family for

their unfaltering support in the face of uncertainty and my fiscal ruin, their work ethic and

mind-set was, and will always be an inspiration.











TABLE OF CONTENTS




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............. ..... ._ ...............3....


LIST OF FIGURES ............. ..... ...............5...

ABSTRACT ............. ..... .............. 6....


CHAPTER


1 UN BURDEN ED............... ...............


Heritage as Identity, Experience and Transcendant. ......___ ....... .._ ............8
Heritage as Identity ........._ ....... __ ............... 8....
Heritage as Experience .........._............._ ....___ .... ........
Material Culture: Signifier and Signified ....._._._ ......._.._ ......._..........10
Heritage: A Numinous Experience................ ...............12

2 U NBU RDEN ED: SCU LPTU RAL MAN IFESTATIONS ................. .....................1 4


Installation .................. ................... ... ................14.....
Tools: Engagement and Disengagement ........._....__....._.. ........_.._.........15
Pattern and Ornament................ ............... 19
Heritage Supplanting Religion ......._ ........_.._ ....._...._ ... ..........1
Material ity................ ..............2

3 CONCLUSION ........._...._ ...._. .._ ...............23.....


LIST OF REFERENCES ........._....__....._..._ ...............25....

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........._...._ ...._..._ ...............26.....










LIST OF FIGURES

Figure pme


2-1 Unburdened, installation view. ......._..__ ... ...._. ......_._............1

2-2 Sam ple of im plem ents d displayed in Unburdened ..........._._ ....... ...__............15

2-3 Detail of Baiulavi: I Have Carried a Heavy Burden. ........._._. ...... .._.._...........16

2-4 Baiulavi: I Have Carried a Heavy Burden. ........._._.._......_.. ......._.... .....17

2-5. D iptych .........._. .. ...._.._ ...............18....

2-6 Examples of work that use earthenware and porcelain. .........._.._. .........._.._....22

3-1 Detail: Sine Labore N~ihil: N~othing Without Labor. ..........._._ ...... .._.._..........23

3-2 Sine Labore N~ihil: N~othing Without Labor. ..........._._ ......_.._ ........._.......24









Abstract of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to
the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
the Degree of Master of Fine Arts

UNBURDENED

By

Patrick Thomas Coughlin

August 2010

Chair: Linda Arbuckle
Major: Art

Heritage is our inherited traditions, monuments, objects, and culture. These

traditions and objects, if embraced, are an aid in constructing the makeup of our lives

and personal characteristics. Identity may be defined as a set of characteristics

recognized as belonging uniquely to our experiences and personality.

Farming communities, for instance, create a condition whereby individuals have a

strong heritage connecting them to place, position and purpose. These inherited values

provide people in these communities and families with meaning and a sense of security

and place. This helps define a personal reason for and way of being.

When active participation in farming is inaccessible to the next generation, forming

identity from those elements becomes a pursuit fraught with ambiguity. Descendants of

this way of life must find new ways to connect and participate in their heritage or

unburden themselves and forge new values and lineage. If identity is too strongly rooted

in community or family experiences no longer available, abandoning them is difficult.

Memorializing the lost heritage becomes the only viable solution. Artifacts become

placeholders for absent experiences, charged with the task of embodying the breadth of

experiences of which they were once only a part. Preservation and veneration of the









newly-assigned relics permits a new participation, albeit a diminished one, where the

markers for identity can still hold true.

Unburdened explores the veneration of objects that are a proxy for heritage

experiences that normally form identity. Markers for the material culture of a working

class's heritage may be symbolized by tools of labor and vice: shovel, yoke, sickle, and

bottle. These symbols are paired with trees and flora-based pattern: signifiers of growth

and tradition. The disparity between physical space and two-dimensional space is the

stage where the activity of discarding heritage outright, or finding a new way to interact

with it, occurs. That which is bodily accessible and that which is illusionary separate the

traditions that are either embraced or shunned. Regardless of appearance, a laden

importance permeates the work through materiality, pattern, scale and pseudo-religious

structure as a means to sanctify what cannot be properly honored in its intended form.

What takes place when these collective conditions, in part or whole, are outmoded

or anachronistic? How do we ascribe value to seemingly outdated concepts and

customs originated by forbearers who created them to manage a world and experiences

that barely resemble our own? Unburdened is a monument to this investigation of

responsibility to the past.









CHAPTER 1
UNBURDENED

Heritage as Identity, Experience and Transcendent

Be careful, lest in casting out the devils
you cast out the best thing that's in you. N~ietzsche

I am Patrick Coughlin, son of Daniel Coughlin, who is the son Lyman Coughlin,

who is the son of an onion farmer. Raised in a small, tight-knit community where local

lore and lineages are so entangled has created a strong attachment to place and

familial occupation. I was young when the long-standing traditions tied to family farming

were terminated. A crisis of identity and an added sense of responsibility to the past

developed. An entire community foisted an identity on me based on the occupation and

traditions of ancestors. It was my generation that was not able to continue, that failed

our history and heritage. Because familial objects, buildings, and detritus of the past

hundred years continually surrounded me, it was impossible to forget our past and my

position as an outsider to its history. As a means to retain a connection to a past I could

never be a part of, I became the steward for the objects of my heritage.

Heritage as Identity

The manifestation of heritage is an indistinct experience. Location, occupation,

race, gender and family are merely a few of the more culturally universal expressions of

an experience that is uniquely personal and pervasively widespread. How is one to

define an experience that is intimate yet broad? Often, individuals respond more closely

to notions of heritage that create an identity for that individual and their immediate kin.

Consequently, the status, conditions, and character acquired by being born into a

particular family or social class determine many of the factors that shape identity and

give meaning to our lives.









Most elements of identity can become heritage. A uniform, a flag, or a brand are

purposed signifiers of identity that may only become heritage through a concerted effort

to conserve them. Conversely, many aspects of identity are meant to be transient.

Identities are crafted, tried on like clothes. Hobbies, temporary jobs, and the innocence

of youth are merely aspects of identity that can be tried on or outgrown. If heritage is

defined by that which people choose to save, collect, or conserve then "heritage is

recognized, designated and self conscious by definition" (Howard, 2003). The fact that

there are many things that distinguish identity that we do not wish to conserve raises

difficult questions about the nature of heritage. "So heritage may be foisted on the

descendants of the perpetrators against their will" (Howard. 2003). We can observe

heritage as an active experience both chosen and assigned.

Heritage as Experience

Heritage is not merely an act of remembering; it's a tangible participation in and

conservation of events, where the accumulation of past experiences and traditions is

given to the next generation. Each generation has its own temporal and cultural context

in applying meaning to these traditions; they are re-embodied with new memories and

perspective. "In this sense, then, heritage as experience means that heritage is not

static or 'frozen in time" (Smith, 2006). Heritage is a process that passes on established

values and meaning while also creating new ones. Places are often major signifiers of

heritage and "while the sites (are) intrinsically important it (is) the use of these sites that

make them heritage, not the mere fact of their existence" (Smith, 2006). For farming

communities, the land holds enormous value as the source of economic stability,

sustenance, and the stage on which to take part in agricultural traditions.









I understood this notion of active participation in heritage, at an early age. After the

long and difficult winters in upstate New York, family members walk the hedgerow

bordering the property to assess the fencing, and repair when needed. This chore is a

tedious task of walking, replacing posts, and mending wire. On a particularly hot spring

day while walking the fence, I took shelter from the sun in a shaded alcove of brush and

stone. While resting, I came across a cracked teacup, saucer, and rusted tin case. In

that moment, I no longer saw walking the fencerows as tedium, but understood that I

had chosen the same place to rest while performing the same task an ancestor had

performed before me. Through considering the abandoned teacup and saucer, I

understood that day's labor as tradition spanning countless spring thaws. This mundane

chore and these ruined objects became charged with meaning and new personal value.

Material Culture: Signifier and Signified

Because heritage is a deliberate act to conserve and designate, these activities

are directly tied to the crafting of identity. This preservation applies to a wide range of

cultural expression: folk dances, buildings, colloquialisms, artifacts, and any aspect of

life that is consciously saved. The underlying premise of material culture "is that objects

made or modified by man reflect, consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, the

beliefs of the individuals who made, commissioned, purchased or used them, and by

extension, the beliefs of the larger society to which they belonged" (Beaudry, Cook,

Mrozowski 1996). A process of classifying items of heritage must take place if all

material objects convey a specific system of beliefs and ideas. Peter Howard (2003) in

Heritage: Mlanagement, Interpretation, Identity describes the process of moving objects,

events and places into the heritage realm as inventory, designation, protection,

restoration and commodification.









With the onset of mechanization, many tools were rendered obsolete. The sickle,

an old-world agricultural implement, witnessed this transformation. "Day after day, for

two thousand years or more, men with strong backs and strong arms swung scythes

through the grain fields of this world" (Levene 1958) until the advent of the mechanical

reaper by Cyrus McCormick (1831). The age of industrial mechanization brought drastic

changes to the landscape of food production. When an object like the sickle finds itself

in a new cultural context (being an outmoded tool), it signifies an entirely new meaning.

"In order to understand material culture we have to think in terms that go entirely

beyond it, to go beneath the surface appearance to an underlying reality. This means

we are thinking in terms of the relationship between things, rather than simply in terms

of the things themselves" (Tilley, 1994). For those involved in farming, constantly aware

of the cost of labor, the sickle is a vestigial remnant, a reminder of the exhausting

manual labor required of their ancestors. The sickle no longer signifies only the act of

labor but now holds connotations of history, and transition to mechanization that

rendered the traditional method and tool obsolete. The transition to a modernized

society was, and remains, the most profound large-scale socioeconomic upheaval in

recorded history. As expanding technologies demanded new skills, and devalued old

ones, whole populations of skilled workers lost their means of support. "Mechanization

pervaded even the most complex manufacturers, and workers saw themselves as

slaves, not masters, of the machinery they operated, where handicraft survived at all, it

survived as a relic of an older, slower world" (Trilling 2003).

Archaic objects become souvenirs filled with identities of where we came from

and who we are. Because of their inability to partake in purposeful use, our interaction









with these obsolete artifacts is passive: that of constructed memory and contemplation.

"Remembering is an active process in which the past is continually negotiated and

reinterpreted, through not only the experiences of the present but also the needs of the

present. The past can never be understood solely within its own terms; the present

continually rewrites the meaning of the past and the memories and histories we

construct about it within the context of the present" (Smith 2006). Material culture as

heritage is assumed to provide a physical representation and reality for the ephemeral

and slippery concept of "identity" The artifacts that remain are the only ways in which

individuals in a truncated heritage are able to participate in their traditions and preserve

an identity, albeit in a very diminished capacity.Heritage: A Numinous Experience

"Heritage provides meaning to human existence by conveying the ideas of

timeless values and unbroken lineages that underpin identity" (Smith, 2006). Finding

meaning in life is an essential purpose in avoiding what Viktor E. FrankI terms an

"existential vacuum." "Rooted deeply in the human person is what we call the will to

meaning: the struggle for the most meaningful fulfillment of personal existence" (Frankl,

2004). When the active experience of heritage is inaccessible, it creates a crisis of

identity and also produces an "existential vacuum" where the very meaning and purpose

of life may become suspect. Heritage forms identity, and also serves a clear existential

purpose. Heritage allows people a way of being that is not center-focused. By imparting

sentiments that one belongs in a group and has a purposeful function, heritage creates

an inclusive sense of meaning and station.

No one with a last name other than Coughlin has ever lived in our turn-of-the-

century farmhouse. Invariably, historic family objects or treasures are re-discovered in









one of the several buildings on the property; one need only look. These objects from

unknown ancestors provide a strong sense of inheritance and place. When cleaning out

one of the dilapidated barns, we found a multi-tiered chest of bank receipts, worn

photos, a wedding band, contracts, a pistol, letters from family members, and postcards.

Though my parents looked at these objects as one more bit of curiosity left behind by

long-dead relatives, for me the chest became a tabernacle. The artifacts became

numinous: filled with or characterized by a sense of a supernatural presence that

arouses one's elevated feelings of duty, honor and loyalty. "This sense of inheritance

promotes the idea that the present has a particular 'duty' to the past and its monuments.

The duty of the present is to receive and revere what has been passed on and in turn

pass this inheritance, untouched, to future generations" (Smith 2003). Artifacts become

placeholders for absent experiences, charged with the task of embodying the breadth of

experiences of which they were once only a part. The act of preservation becomes an

act of veneration, fulfilling the existential need to create and give meaning to my life.









CHAPTER 2
UNBURDEN ED: SCULPTURAL MAN IFESTATIONS

Installation

Unburdened, a grouping of sculptures, explores the veneration of objects that are

proxies for heritage experiences. The work is a physical manifestation of the hidden,

signified meaning that lies within the material culture of an inaccessible heritage system

in a farming community. The work is ultimately concerned with the creation of a physical

memorial so that I may unburden myself from the responsibility of preservation.


Figure 2-1 Unburdened, Installation view.

"Museums are fundamentally more about memorializing the past so that it may be

forgotten than actually remembering the past-particularly complex pasts"(Smith 2003).

Unburdened is a monument to the investigation of and our responsibility to the past.









The examination of what modes of being are worth keeping, and what should remain

separate is the central question of the work.

Tools: Engagement and Disengagement

The sculptures of Unburdened focus on a specific class of objects from the

material culture of a farming heritage. Objects of labor and vice (yoke, shovel, sickle,

and alcohol) are the personal effects that now contain a larger signified meaning than

their original purpose. All the elements have existed for countless generations and, as a

group, impart associations with history, manual labor, and forgotten customs. Each tool


4s A E

Figure 2-2. Sample of implements displayed in Unburdened. A) Molls: The Custom of
Habit- a hand holding a Sickle. B). Virtute et Labore, //: By Virtue of Labor- a
transformed shovel.









also holds its own connotation of a heritage experience, and is transformed or altered to

convey its underlying meaning.

Within this classification, the implements are divided into two sets: physical, three-

dimensional objects and objects that are two-dimensional illusory. This is a device used

to separate the particular heritage experiences that are closed off or shunned, versus

the experiences that are tangibly embraced and kept alive. The yoke, sickle, and bottle

represent aspects of a heritage purposefully kept separate. Baiulaivr: "I Have Carried a

Heavy Burden, a large-scale tiled wall work, represents the act of labor that is not a

choice. The yoke, a central feature of the piece, embodies oppression and bondage,

traditions that were not a choice but an act of survival.


Figure 2-3. Detail of Baiulavi: I have Carried a Heavy Burden. A) Lattice with
transforming pattern and tree branches. B) Detail of shovel pattern and
branch.























t:~.


rl
~


i\


Figure 2-4. Baiulavi: I have Carried a Heavy Burden.


~1 1


r

I&"rl









The two panels forming the diptych are titled Fio: I Become and Mlos: The Custom

of Habit, These panels, representing shunned heritage experiences, use the hand

gesture of a Catholic blessing combined with the eschewed heritage objects. In Mlos:

The Custom of Habit, "the hand holds a sickle, signifying the hard, manual labor of the

past. The Sickle's blade extends back into the forearm, piercing its flesh. This presents

labor that is damaging to the one committing it. The liquor bottle in Fio "I Become"

signifies another destructive habit that is a heritage experience still practiced: the vice of

alcoholism. To reinforce the separation of illusory space from dimensional reality, a

diamond pattern overlays the picture plane of these objects and becomes a lattice-like

fencing that is a physical and conceptual barrier.


Figure 2-5. Diptych A) Fio: I Become. B) Mos: The Custom of Habit.









The shovels, however, exist in three-dimensional space and allow the viewer to

become a hypothetical user to interact with the tool. The shovels become a symbol for

the embraced heritage experience that is rooted in labor. The shovel's nature is to cover

and uncover. By placing one shovel pointing upward and one tipped in the earth, I am

giving expression to the activity of heritage investigation. I am deciding what should be

unearthed and what should be buried.

Pattern and Ornament

Pattern and ornament are present in all the work and serve several functions.

Unburdened uses Renaissance through Victorian-era ornament to place the work in a

historical context, making an allusion and comparison to the long-standing history and

heritage of European decorative arts. European decorative ornament was created to

embody magnificence, conveying the importance of the owner through meticulous detail

and luxurious material. Pattern and ornament from this historical context fills the work

and its mundane images with a reverent majesty. "Another function of ornament is to

express reverence for the sacred" (Trilling, 2003). Through the visible "we may be led to

invisible beauty" (Trilling, 2003). Therefore, pattern is applied to convey the spiritual

importance created through the tools' and implements' meaning and relationship to

heritage and identity

Heritage Supplanting Religion

Religious constructs of architecture and iconography are used in Unburdened to

suggest supplanting a religious transcendence with a heritage experience. Catholicism

allows for a very personal experience within the faith. The religion encourages the

congregation to choose patron saints and a multitude of rites and practices beyond the

necessary dogma of the mass and liturgical calendar. This structure provides a system









larger than the individual, in which to participate. Religion is normally a practice that

gives life meaning; however, "when the clergy do not or cannot awaken the heart, that

tells us that they are unable to interpret the symbols through which they are supposed

to enlighten and spiritually nourish their people" (Campbell, 2001), and the "existential

vacuum" remains. Heritage becomes a system that allows individuals to re-interpret the

fai led transcendence of organ ized rel ig ion and connect to a personal ly-m edilated,

alternative concept larger than themselves. "Many people have learned to let religious

symbols speak directly to themselves to order their lives. They don't believe a group of

bishops or other religious leaders could meet in conference and decide for them which

interpretation of a symbol must be believed. But they don't reject their religious tradition.

They discover that symbols, when they are not pressed literally, can speak clearly

across different traditions" (Campbell 2001). Unburdened strives to use the symbols of

Catholicism and apply them to an experience that has personal meaning and value. In

Molls and Fio, the hands holding the implements mimic the posture seen in countless

religious paintings in Europe, allowing "that which is shunned" to be experienced

positively in a revered light.

All objects in the exhibition have undergone some sort of transformation. Clay is

transformed: through fire, what was once fragile earth becomes a permanent object. As

a material, clay suggests that, through designation and preservation, the mutable

heritage signifiers, too, have become permanent.











Hybridization occurs between nature and material culture: shovels have handles that

grow into trees, or roots that grow into shovels. This amalgam of the man-made and

nature is a metaphor for the newly assigned otherworldly character that embodies the

spiritual need for meaning sought in the material culture of a re-configured heritage.

MIate rial ity

Ceramics as a material is paradoxically fragile and permanent. By using ceramics

as the unifying material in an installation of multimedia work, ceramics become an

allegory for expressing heritage as a fragile constant. Even when broken, fired ceramic

materials remain a permanent artifact. Through the various objects created in

Unburdened, a hierarchy of materiality is created between earthenware and porcelain.

Objects that represent aspects of heritage that are unattainable are earthenware.

Objects made in porcelain are meant to be engaged and used.

Earthenware is of low value: a secondary clay, full of impurities associated with

roofing tiles and objects of disposable worth. By using earthenware, I am aligning the

inherent meaning of the material with the aspects of heritage that are meant to have

less value. In contrast, the white, vitrified porcelain evokes connotations of wealth and

purity. Historically, porcelain was a highly sought-after material: at one time, by weight,

it was worth more than gold (Prime, 1879). Using porcelain for objects that are

accessible lends them this added importance. Through porcelain, the objects become a

spiritual and physical ideal, an ambition yet to be realized.








































Figure 2-6. Examples of work that use earthenware and porcelain. A) Detail of Fio: I
Become, the work was created using only earthenware. B) Virtute et Labore /:
By Virtue of Labor, a multimedia piece where porcelain is the only clay used.









CHAPTER 3
CONCLUSION

The uprooted shrine is the culmination of Unburdened. As the only object that

contains both porcelain and earthenware, it combines the low and the highly valued, the

unattainable and the actively engaged. The uprooted shrine is the only work that does

not possess an implement or tool. Housing a single, revered porcelain onion, the

earthenware shrine is titled, Sine Labore N~ihil: N~othing Without Labor. The onion is the

"fruit of labor." The fallen iconic structure of the ended heritage system enshrines the

purpose for the existence of the other implements. Farming traditions depend on the

harvest of a crop. This is a memorial to the harvest that no longer exists. The stool

supports the fallen shrine and suggests the need to find a new way to interact with the

experience. All of the sculptures deal with an aspect of separation, whether a physical

barrier of patterned grid, or as uprooted or dead trees removed from nature. These

images imply that without labor I have nothing: no truthful embracing of an identity that

is assigned. I am separated.


Figure 3-1. Detail of Sine Labore N~ihil: N~othing Without Labor.A) Enshrined porcelain
onion B) Root structure of Sine Labore N~ihil: N~othing Without Labor









































Figure 3-2. Sine Labore N~ihil: N~othing Without Labor.

The act of making this body of work is in itself an embracement and participation in

my heritage. Because of meticulous care and the sustained labor of working large-

scale, I was able to re-embody my heritage. Through this labor, I gained access to a

transformed heritage: the act of making an onion from clay made me the "baroque"

evolution of the unadulterated "classicism" of forbearers who grew them from earth.

Although it means my heritage experience and identity is a bizarre characterization, an

open door is still an open door.









LIST OF REFERENCES


Beaudry, M., Cook, L., & Mrozowski, S. A. (1996) Artifacts and active voices:
Material culture as social discourse. (pp. 270-310). Walnut Creek, CA, Altamira
Press.

Campbell, J. (2001) Thou art that: Transforming Religious Metaphor. (pp. 33 ,110).
Novato, CA: New World Library.

Frankl, V. E. (2004) On the theory and therapy of mental disorders: An
introduction to logotherepy. (pp. 173). New York, NY: Brunner-Rutlidge.

Howard, P. (2003) Heritage: Management, interoperation, identity. (pp. 148 -149).
New York, NY: Continuum.

Levene, B. H. (Winter, 1958-1959, Vol. 42, N~o. 2) Lincoln and McCormick: Two
American Emancipators. The Wisconsin Magazine of History. Wisconsin
Historical Society. 97

McCormick, C. H. (Aug. 22, 1931, Vol. 20, N~o. 541) The McCormick reaper: "A classic
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


Patrick Coughlin is from rural Western New York and is a descendant of several

generations of farmers. It was in his youth that the livelihood and tradition of farming

ended for his family and is slowly vanishing from his community. After receiving a

Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics from Syracuse University, Patrick attended the

post-baccalaureate program at the University of Florida and subsequently participated

in a number of residencies. Most notably, Patrick was the "Salad Days" resident artist at

Watershed Center for Ceramic Art in Newcastle Maine. Upon completing a yearlong

residency at Genesee Center for the Arts, Rochester, New York, Patrick returned to

Florida as an MFA candidate in ceramics. In summer 2010 Patrick begins a new

position at the Pottery Workshop Design Studio in Jingdezhen, China.




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