Emily W

Artist Statement

For my final year of graduate school, I started an internship at a pediatric hospital with passion to work with children and teenagers but low confidence in my therapeutic abilities. At the time I was going through a personal journey of managing chronic health issues, which led me to be concerned that my personal life would impact my ability to work professionally. As a result I decided to create rigid life/work boundaries my first semester at my internship. I created the image “Boundaries” to reflect this distinct divide that I was attempting to maintain. As the months went by I realized that my boundaries were unrealistic and leading myself to become guarded. I created “Balance” as motivation to be more flexible and allow my personal experiences to guide my therapeutic work while still maintaining clinical objectivity.

This became my goal for capstone. I decided to use response art to reassure that I was providing quality care and being empathetically present for my patients. I started to trust my therapeutic instincts and build confidence in my professional identity. I created a self-portrait as a means of ending my time in graduate school to reflect the personal and professional growth I gained in this final year. I sealed off the canvas with wood and filled it with all the response art images that I created this semester to provide a sense of finality. “Containment” represents myself at the end of this phase of life, feeling exhausted but accomplished.