Ethan Lauesen

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Bachelor of Fine Arts

by | May 28, 2019 | Undergraduate 2019

Artist’s Statement
Figurative Distortions, A Repose From Doubt, a thesis capstone of my undergraduate career is a collective body of work that comprises a visual dialogue of day to day experiences of Alaska Native and LGBTQIA+ experiences. The topics of intersectionality, community, and identity acceptance are core themes of my thesis work. Figurative distortions is a direct reference to the emotions associated with identity and the experiences of doubt, otherwise a lack of acceptance. To achieve this effect of figurative distortions I incorporate disconcerting elements into the figures, obscuring facial features, creating repetition of specific anatomical features as well as the entire figure itself. The premise behind the figurative distortions and body horror is to create an effect of emotional transference that alludes to the experience of identity rejection. The concept of a repose from doubt is fulfilled through an emphasis on a strong sense of place and the activities, routines, and culture that is associated with the city and rural scapes that I reference, places that tend to resonate with my own conscience and memory.
Essentially Figurative Distortions, A Repose From Doubt is an autobiographical, visual narrative that compiles my day to day experiences through intersectional context from relationships, community interaction, to identity acceptance and development. To emphasize the intimacy of my thesis I work on a relatively smaller scale, creating small etchings, encaustics, and collages that require more attention to detail. As a result my thesis work is basically a coming out story for my own non-binary gender identity and the gradual process of becoming more comfortable with that identity. The goal and intent for my thesis is to highlight the complexity of Alaska’s cultural dialogue, especially in regards to Alaska Native and LGBTQIA+ experience and fostering an appreciation for community and diversity .