Elle Gallen

home on my shelf

Class of: 2023

Major: Integrated Design BFA

Medium: Wood

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: For this project, we were asked to develop a 3D object to demonstrate our connection to the community we identify with, our beliefs, or our personality. The item could be a sculpture or a functional object/tool. Projects were to only be made out of flat materials, such as wood, paper, or acrylic.

This piece is inspired by my hometown community: the people in St Louis, Missouri that I’m deeply connected to and the love that I feel from them. I decided to make a container in the shape of the front door of my childhood home that could metaphorically hold the love of my people by housing objects that remind me of them. I knew from the beginning that I wanted the piece to be entirely handmade, so I engraved the wood by hand with needle files and a Dremel. This was by far the most time I’ve spent creating a single piece of art, which made me appreciate the piece and the process I went through to complete it. I put my heart and soul into this piece, just as the people at home put into loving me. Past the door-like exterior, the inside of the box has slots that hold shelves, which are able to be moved around to change the layout of the space. I finished the piece off with a light stain, then sanded it down to give it a “worn-in” look. I couldn’t bring any family furniture with me to college, so I did this to resemble pieces at home and symbolize the imperfect nature of my relationships. The box is both a functional storage item and a representation of my loved ones.