Colleen McDonagh
Food for Thought
Using images and materials that recall childhood, I reinvent food based on my memories. The use of memory in my work is influenced by surrealism. When I look back at a memory, the image in my head is not perfect, but I paint what I believe I saw. Food is fun and enticing and yarn makes the viewer want to hold and play with it, just as a child would. 
Artist/Thesis Statement

A memory that I’m quite fond of is eating balut eggs. Balut is a boiled, fertilized duck egg that you peel and eat. This was one of my favorite foods that my grandma always made for me when I was little. I was always so excited whenever she said we’d have them for dinner that I would eat around ten of them after my meal. Now that I’m older we don’t make them as often anymore. I wonder if it’s because I am more conscious of what it is or if it’s the fact that we don’t eat meals as a family anymore. This is a memory I will always cherish because of the warmth and love my grandma always put into everything she made for me. 
I reinvent food based on my memories. I create surreal images and use materials such as yarn to create fabric sculptures. I try to use these images to call up memories to connect me to a time when I felt loved and cared for. As I return each time, the memory becomes more and more distorted and becomes a memory of that memory. In the end what I have left of those faded images are my paintings and sculptures. 
I chose food for one reason: I love and care for it. Food has always been a subject in my life. It was there for me in a way nothing or no one else was. Especially in my younger years, food was there to comfort me whenever I was upset. You could say this is a dedication to food and in a way it is. 
The way that memories are represented in my work is influenced by surrealism. My influences are Salvador Dali and Claes Oldenburg. When I look back at a memory, the image in my head is not completely perfect, but I paint what I believe I saw. The foods that I create are interpretations from me as a child. To represent my youth, I chose yarn to make some of my pieces with. Food is fun and enticing and yarn really makes the viewer want to hold and play with it, just as a child would. 
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