Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Nancy Macko

Reader 2

Melanie Nakaue

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

@ 2018 Caroline W Golding


This triptych consists of three pointillist-style portraits of myself, a close friend and my mother, each assembled out of the specific pills we take. While we each appear “healthy” at first glance, a closer examination raises questions about society’s collective dependence on prescription drugs – a microcosm of the much larger tragedy of opioid abuse that is destroying many American families. In addition to the portraits is an animation, “Oxycodone Lungs,” comprised of individual Oxy pills, reflecting my personal experience with this wildly addictive opiate during an emergency room visit to relieve extreme chest pain from pericarditis.

Creating each portrait required me to inventory the specific medicines taken by the subject, capture high-resolution images of each pill, then transfer the images to Adobe Illustrator to be used as individual design elements. In total, these three digital portraits required the use of over 10,000 elements. Beyond the rendering of each “pill face” I added critical context in the background, listing the pill name and a quote from each subject as to why she is taking it. I also added a subtle, almost transparent, layer of pill bottles to provide more texture to each portrait. For the “Oxycodone Lungs,” I created and duplicated two 2-D pills in Adobe Illustrator to form the trachea, lobes and bronchioles. To capture a realistic rendering, I added animation so that the lungs appear to be breathing.

Three artists have provided valuable inspiration for my thesis project. Vik Muniz is a Brazilian multimedia artist who uses unusual everyday items to create art that is accessible and meaningful to all viewers. Yayoi Kusama’s work with polka dots creates a sense of movement and depth through scale and repetition. Lastly, I was inspired by Yung Jake’s innovative, accurate images that he creates solely out of emojis.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.