Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Name


Committee Chair

Trey Hill

Commitee Members

James Bailey, Debra Earling


memory, object, place, identity, autobiography


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Art and Design | Ceramic Arts | Sculpture


The objects that surround us tell a story of our past, and act as physical stand ins for a person, place, or experience no longer present. My work explores the significance of objects and how we use them to preserve our memories and make them tangible. Memory is ephemeral and changes over time, simultaneously growing weaker and stronger. I use clay to accentuate this relationship, visually depicting both preservation and decay.

Inspired by my personal narrative, I recreate specific objects of significance by hand. This results in subtle variations of the original, much like the changes in our memory over time. Each piece becomes a fabrication of an original object, just as our memories are a fabrication of the original experience.

Themes of storage, disintegration, alteration, and addition reflect the processes involved in memory formation and the effect of time on our recall. Through this process, I am exploring how much our identity is reliant on our memories, how we preserve our past in order to inform our present, and the ways in which our objects serve as characters in our narrative of self.



© Copyright 2020 Molly V. Rivera