Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2023 Vivian R Monteiro
This series of digital paintings is a visual development project inspired by a fictional world called The Blazing World. It’s a mid-seventeenth century text, written by the ingenious Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. The narrative is aflame with philosophical thought, scientific discovery, and creative invention. It’s considered a founding text of the science fiction genre. Despite this, Cavendish’s writing is often dismissed for its fanciful nature. My digital paintings excavate her words, bringing the world to life and instilling a sense of wonder and appreciation for the wisdom and innovation behind the seemingly preposterous. In illustrating the cities, inhabitants, and wonders of The Blazing World, I bring forth my own internal consciousness- my own internal world. While Cavendish’s internal world is what grounds this project, it is in the gaps that you see my own imagination working, experimenting with the colors and light that exist within the image in my mind, filling in the blanks Cavendish left behind. When she writes of the Empress's attire, the city of Paradise, and ships with engines, she gives only the information necessary to get her point across. The rest is left to my imagination, and I believe that the answers I create, the sparkle of the blue moon across her forehead and the red glow of a sun motif rising above it, are the products of what captivates me in my world, what floats around in my subconscious. The imagination and our internal worlds are not only havens of escape but feracious spaces of possibility in which new ideas can form. In my work I capture the whimsy and wonder of the imaginative, which has as much merit as the real.
Monteiro, Vivian, "WHIMSY AND WONDER: VISUALLY DEVELOPING THE BLAZING WORLD" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2133.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.