This is my attempt to build a world of my own, based on my experiences growing up in Alaska, and my own personal struggles with depression and anxiety. Some of the influences for this particular piece of work include surrealism, film and mythology. It looks at the ideals of a home, and nostalgia for a childhood that did not exist. The diorama is also imbued with my sense of humor despite some of the darker themes present. My creative process in the making of this world was centered on distressing the materials and changing their inherent forms. Surrealism heavily inspired this piece in terms of content, symbolism, humor, the uncanny, and the irrational use of images. I am also looking for a way to unleash the creative subconscious, reflected in the dream-like nature of the diorama. The collage work of Max Ernst informed some of the formal decisions in creating this piece. Discarded world has some cinematic elements, in terms of the narrative that it presents, and the way that it resembles the set for a stop-motion animated film in the vein of Coraline. Some of my cinematic influences include: Jan Svankmajer, Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, and Jim Henson. Horror films like The Shining have also been important in portraying elements of both confinement and impotence. Some 1980s fantasy films, such as The Never Ending Story, The Labyrinth, and The Last Unicorn, have influenced me so thoroughly that it is hard to separate them from myself. Mythology has been an all-encompassing passion since I was five years old. In this piece, I am beginning to form my own voice and attempting to create my own modern mythology. Throughout mythology, fairy tales, and folklore, animal-human hybrids can be found that symbolize a whole host of meanings and archetypes. This is my first attempt to flesh these ideas out for myself. Growing up in Alaska, the winters were cold and dark. The home is a place that both protects you from the elements, but is also a confining prison six months out of the year. The destructive act of melting of the walls liberates the inhabitants while also exposing them to danger. The colors of this piece also reflect the natural colors of winter in Alaska. Home as a social construct and a façade is prevalent theme in the work. For example, home in terms of what is portrayed in Martha Stewart Living often contrasts with the reality of what our homes actually look like. One concept I question in this piece is the relevance of nostalgia, while still acknowledging its power over the imagination. Nostalgia for an idealized time and place that has never existedlonging for the innocence and imagination of a child; or a childhood lost. This miniature dystopia invokes the opposite feelings of nostalgia created by a Christmas village or a gingerbread house, while maintaining similarities. This diorama is called Discarded World not only because all of the components are essentially trashbut also because it is the world of the imagination discarded as one becomes an adult, or the dream discarded upon awakening.