Student Work

Graduation Series: Marie Caye

Tue 11 Jun

With a background in design and a flourishing career in the international realm, Marie's pursuit of a Master's degree in Fine Art signifies a profound shift towards a more introspective and immersive artistic practice. As she prepares to culminate her academic journey, Marie reflects on her intricate thesis project, rooted in the cultural heritage of her native region in France and her quest for identity and belonging in a rapidly changing world.

Could you elaborate on the focus of your graduation project?

"Certainly. My graduation project delves into the rich tapestry of cultural heritage in my home region of central France, particularly exploring the evolution and decay of ancient traditions and symbols. Drawing inspiration from my father's research on ancient sculptures and ethnography, I aim to unravel the aesthetic and symbolic significance of these artifacts while contextualizing them within contemporary socio-political landscapes. Through a blend of drawings, sculptures, and performances, I seek to embody and reinterpret these symbols, offering insights into their relevance and resonance in today's world."

What compelled you to delve into this subject matter?

"My fascination with decay and transformation has long been a driving force in my artistic practice. However, it was my personal journey of grappling with questions of belonging and identity that truly catalyzed my exploration of ancient cultural symbols. As someone who straddles multiple worlds—geographically, culturally, and professionally—I felt a profound urge to reconcile my sense of self with the shifting landscapes of tradition and modernity. This project serves as a cathartic journey of self-discovery and affirmation, rooted in a deep appreciation for the complexities of cultural heritage."

How did you navigate the process of choosing and refining your project?

"The journey towards my graduation project was marked by introspection and uncertainty. Balancing the demands of a hybrid practice and the expectations of entering the fine arts realm posed significant challenges. The pressure to perform at a high level while grappling with doubts and questions of form and content was undoubtedly daunting. However, through perseverance and a willingness to embrace the unknown, I gradually found clarity and direction in my artistic vision."

As you approach graduation, what emotions are you experiencing?

"The prospect of presenting my work to the public and transitioning into the fine arts sphere is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I have fears of falling short of my own expectations and uncertainties about garnering attention for my exhibition. Moreover, as someone who has grappled with burnout in the past, I am mindful of prioritizing my mental well-being amidst the pressures of graduation."

Reflecting on your years at PZI, how have they shaped your artistic journey?

"My time at PZI has been very transformative. The nurturing environment, dedicated tutors, and supportive peers have helped me grow and explore.  I've learned to embrace the unknown and let go of the need for definitive answers, allowing my intuition and creativity to guide me. This shift has been liberating for my artistic practice."

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations post-graduation?

"Beyond graduation, I envision a multifaceted practice that encompasses teaching, artistic exploration, and community engagement. Continuing my role as an educator at the Design Academy while pursuing opportunities for studio practice in Rotterdam is a priority for now. I aspire to contribute to the vibrant cultural landscape of Rotterdam while fostering connections within the local art community. Additionally, I remain open to new horizons and experiences."