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This portfolio reflects the Senior Art Exhibition of Madeline Gassner. The exhibition took place in the Bush Art Center from April 8th to May 3rd, 2019.

Semester Completed

Spring 2019


De Pere


photography, beauty, self-portrait, symbolism, makeup


Art and Design

Artist Statement

Life experiences, thoughts, and dreams are often incorporated into my works of art. Reflections of life and dreams make their way into my work as a collection of time, understanding, and response. Through trial and error, photography has become my favorite art form. Within my photography, I focus on ornate details and how they help tell the story of an image. Beauty is almost always a theme in my work because it can be emotionally triggering and thought-provoking. I am inspired by the movement and usage of light in photography.

In this series, Post-Traumatic Relationship Syndrome (PTRS), I have manipulated light in order to create dramatic scenes. Some of my images feature bright and fluorescent lighting while others showcase a more dark and suspenseful situation in which lighting is almost obsolete. I am making an allusion to a past relationship that had turned sour. Fixation of emotions and the distortion of perfection were prime elements that resonated with me in the aftermath of this relationship.

Pearls, glitter, jems, and roses were used to represent the status of what had occurred during this past relationship. Pearls are often used to mark purity and loyalty of the one that wears the jewel. Questioning of loyalty and speculations of cheating were an issue that had eventually ended the connection. The glitter in the photographs references the phrase, “All that glitters is not gold.” Not everything that looks precious and wonderful turns out to be so. Although many friends gushed about the looks of my perfect relationship, there was little knowledge of what was hidden behind fake smiles. Roses represent loyalty, love, passion, hidden messages, and confidentially. Budded roses and ones that are slowing wilting and dying show the progress of the end of the relationship.

Post-Traumatic Relationship Syndrome (PTRS) is a representation of my healing throughout the stages of the ending of my past relationship. The images consider my thought process and emotional state during the duration of the relationship, how the relationship came to a bitter end, and how I grew from this experience. The narratives depicted in the image series consider grieving, healing, emotional baggage, and the understanding of what had happened.


Copyright Madeline Gassner

Madeline Gassner, Senior Art Portfolio