Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kate D. McDowell

Kate D. McDowell

A friend of mine introduced me to the ceramists Kate D. McDowell. All I can say is wow her work is amazing and very Aw inspiring!
Her work is inspired by the natural environment and the strains the urban world puts on it.
I hope that one day I can create pieces as beautiful and thought provoking as hers.
The image's and the artist information are from her website:
There are loads more images to look at its worth looking into.

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough.  We want something else which can hardly be put into words--to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. – C.S. Lewis.


Artists Statment

In my work this romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our contemporary impact on the environment.  These pieces are in part responses to environmental stressors including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops.  They also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones.  In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for ourselves and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world.  In others, animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to protect them from man-made environmental threats.  In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.

Still Born

Artist's Biography

I’ve lived and worked in many different environments and cultures that have influenced the way I perceive the world, and therefore my pieces. These experiences have ranged from teaching in urban high schools and producing websites in the high-tech corporate environment, to volunteering at a meditation retreat center in rural India a few hours outside of the fever pitch of Bombay. I’ve also collected visual imagery and ideas from my travels through Renaissance Italy, Classical and Minoan Greece, Nepal and Thailand.
Upon returning to the United States in 2004, after a year and a half working overseas, I began to study ceramics full-time at the ArtCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina and later at Portland Community College's Cascade campus and the Oregon College of Art and Craft's community education program. I have also studied flame-worked glass at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and participated in an artist residency at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine


I hand sculpt each piece out of porcelain, often building a solid form and then hollowing it out.  Smaller forms are built petal by petal, branch by branch and allow me the chance to get immersed in close study of the structure of a blossom or a bee.  I chose porcelain for its luminous and ghostly qualities as well as its strength and ability to show fine texture.  It highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value.  I see each piece as a captured and preserved specimen, a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability

No comments:

Post a Comment