Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Preferred Name

Ben Wailes

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


School of Art, Design and Art History


Cole Welter

Aderonke Adesanya

Ken Szmagaj



This monograph discusses a body of work that I completed during 2016 and 2017. The medium used for this project was photography. This work started on a very small scale taking a few photographs in Harrisonburg Virginia, but this initial investigation led me to complete over 25,000 photographs and travel to over thirteen different states including Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee over an eleven month period of time.

This work presents photographs of everyday items going through transitions as metaphors for the passage of time and mortality. This monograph addresses the original idea that led me to this project, why I wanted to study this topic, and why I chose everyday objects to complete this investigation. I further discuss why and how everyday articles were chosen, and how their inherent qualities made them a good selection for this analysis. I also discuss how these everyday objects can potentially affect a community as they go through transitions.

The photographs in this body of work also dealt with the concept of space and place. I also discuss the process of discovering space and place during my journey, and how the broader ideas about space and place impacted my research.

This monograph addresses my past painting experiences including which painters have had an impact on my artistic practice and I also mention specific photographers that have influenced this work.