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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


School of Art

First Advisor

Bill O'Donnell


Kaitlin, my 20-year-old sister, was diagnosed with Rett syndrome when she was 8 years old. Rett Syndrome is a neurological developmental disorder that affects one's ability to use their hands and language and eventually leads to developmental regression. The best way to describe the syndrome is to imagine that a little girl has cerebral palsy, autism, anxiety, Parkinson's and epilepsy.

In this body of work I am thinking about my sister and the people closest to her, who take care of her, who love and are loved by Kaitlin: my Mother, myself, and my fiancé. I am trying to understand Kaitlin's view of the world, the world's view of her and, by extension, how she is perceived through this series of photographs. In making these pictures, I am addressing the nature of relationships, consciousness, normalcy, and the role of treasured objects in one's life. In the collages, I use the books that Kaitlin has torn and chewed. In these I am experimenting with the idea that she and I can collaborate in the art making process.


Imported from ProQuest Webb_ilstu_0092N_10093.pdf

DOI (104519 kB)

Page Count


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