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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Endless Forest (The End of the Forest)
by Makansi, Elena, M.F.A., The University of Arizona, 2020, 36; 28152984
Abstract (Summary)

Absence and presence are marks of the same body. The Endless Forest (The End of the Forest) is a work of drawing, divination, and writing consisting of four drawings, an oracle deck, and an accompanying text that explores feelings of grief caused by absence. Anticipatory grief as I observed my grandmother’s body struggling against infection and weakness. Then, physical grief as I said goodbye to her earthly form and reckoned with her literal absence. Ecological grief, as I explored National Forest lands in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado and found deforestation, logging operations, and the absence of very old trees. Finally, the grief of disconnection as I held the frayed threads of my own bodily connection to earth in my hands.I began to understand grief as the shadow of love. To see a shadow is to know there is light. The shadow of grief is cast by that bright thing we love that has become intangible, inaccessible, evanescence refracted through the dimension of our memory and imagination. The Endless Forest (The End of the Forest) is a psycho-spiritual landscape of these different manifestations of grief. In traversing a shadowed, impossibly moonlit forest, the viewer encounters moments of magic as often as moments of darkness, moments of recognition as often as moments of abstraction. The forest becomes a metaphor for life’s interrelatedness and enmeshment, and for the journey we take in our minds as we attempt to comprehend loss.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McMahon, Ellen
Commitee: Gipe, Lawrence, Leslie, Kelly
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Art
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 82/7(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Fine arts, Environmental philosophy, Environmental Studies
Keywords: Animism, Dark ecology, Ecological grief, Forests, Shadow self, Witchcraft
Publication Number: 28152984
ISBN: 9798557047654
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