Cecelia Clapham BFA Thesis Spring 2013
Selective breeding and this project are important to me because I grew up so surrounded by selective breeding that I was blind to its consequences. Selective breeding is when humans decide which members of a species are allowed to mate based on traits that can be passed on to their offspring. Using this tactic, humans have created animals for every purpose from hunting to food to clothing to just being a companion. There are many times when the well-being of the animal is diminished and the question of whether or not se-lective breeding is ethical arises. I decided to use mold-making and slip casting as a parallel process to selective breeding in order to explore this morally questionable act. Each of my series has a story that is tied to both real world cases of selective breeding and the process of making.
My artwork consists of five series; three of my series have seven pieces and two have five pieces for a total of thirty-three sculptures. Each series represents an animal species that I “bred” (through the mold-making process) to have a desired trait, for example texture. The five animals (tortoise, bear, squirrel, sheep, and guinea pig) were originally found objects that I created plaster molds from. They are displayed in a way that presents their changes in a biological context as though they were actual specimens. My goal is to make the audience aware of just how ridiculous selective breeding really is.