2014 MFA Thesis

Lillian Handley

I am interested in what would in most circumstances be considered the mundane. Often focusing on objects of use and everyday situations, my work attempts from many vantage points to look at our relationships to them and the modes of looking in which they become entangled. My current untitled project situates the viewer in a network of audio narratives, images, sculptures, and installation, which revolve around questions of usefulness, perception, and relationships to objects. At times using the specific reality of an architectural environment in combination with found and personal anecdotes, this interdisciplinary project explores the framing mechanisms at work in directing thought and the potential in looking indirectly. This project aims to create a shifting web of meaning that invites uncertainty while highlighting modes of perception. How an object or situation is seen, through which lens, and the particular value judgments associated with those lenses become central questions that my work asks the viewer to relate to.

Lillian Handley is an artist based in New York. Originally from Wisconsin, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2004. She lived and worked on the West Coast and abroad before pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts at Parsons the New School for Design. In her interdisciplinary work, Handley employs images of objects of everyday use, narrative audio, sculpture, and installation. Her practice explores the relationships between different modes of framing as they manifest themselves in mundane situations. Handley’s work has been included in recent exhibitions such as States of Becoming (New York) and Re:Cinema, which was first shown at the Sydney College of the Arts Galleries (Australia) and later traveled to Parsons 25 East Gallery (New York).


Lillian Handley / Tilted Wall (installation view front) / 2013 / drywall, wood, paint / 10 ft. x 8 ft. x 1 ft.

Lillian Handley / Tilted Wall (installation view left) / 2013 / drywall, wood, paint / 10 ft. x 8 ft. x 1 ft

Lillian Handley / Untitled (Brita Filter) / 2013 / porcelain, paint / 2.5 in. x 2 in. x 5 in.

Lillian Handley / Carpet Roll / 2014 / carpet, non-slip carpet padding, tarp, bungee cord / 24 in. x 8 in. x 8 in.

Lillian Handley / Drywall Vent / 2013 / drywall, vent, screws / 24 in. x 36 in. x 2 in.