Date of Award
Art and Art History
Crying in Public is the culmination of a deeply personal body of work that has acted as a sort of diary documenting my journey of growing up and self-discovery. Over the last few years, I have found that there is meaning to be found in the parts of ourselves that we seek to hide, as well as in the constructions that we build to conceal them. This work seeks to move outside of the binary of one’s “true inner self” to explore the tensions found in the space between who we are and who we wish we were. This work explores that tension through the lens of experiences when we lose control spontaneously, and our carefully-curated outer shells are shattered to reveal the tangled self beneath.
Just as we are our best moments, we are, in some ways, our most complicated and messy moments as well; this thesis, which draws inspiration from a variety of visual and literary sources, is a celebration of those murky parts. In particular, it pays homage to moments of spontaneous, almost feral, vulnerability through an immersive space that combines graphic design with a variety of other artistic processes, including painting, sound design, and lighting design.
By utilizing an abstraction of the body, the piece seeks to spark conversation around these often embarrassing and odd experiences by personifying the viewer’s closely guarded inner world into a communal space.
Mullen, Sarah, "Crying in Public" (2022). Honors Theses. 2697.
Available for download on Monday, May 05, 2025