KATE BUTLER





 
 
 
  






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Things have an internal equivalent in me; they arouse in me a carnal formula of their presence. Why shouldn’t these correspondences in turn give rise to some tracing rendered visible again, in which the eyes of others could find an underlying motif to sustain their introspection of the world?

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Eye and Mind

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Artist Statement: January 2020 

Characterized by undulating movements of surface into void, light into shadow, my work reflects both the coming-into-being of a perception and the continuous formation of matter by natural processes. Each work is both a landscape and a figure, a body and a place.   

Sculpting in clay is a means for me to visualize and concretize my lived experience of space, time and light -- properties whose treatment has shifted  across bodies of work. Some pieces from late 2018 and early 2019 include dense internal scaffolding of coils within symmetrical, vertical forms, directing the eye into a still, internal hollow. More recent sculptures have been defined by windows or holes, where air passes through a primarily two-sided form. The movement-through of these passages is then directed along undulating surfaces, inviting beholders to walk around them to perceive them in full. Maybe subliminally, these works are reflective of the physical and temporal landscape I occupied while making them, following a road trip from the east coast to Colorado. On that journey, during which I transvered such diverse terrain, time encapsulated constant change.  

The sense of touch is as central to how I conceive my sculptures as well as my drawings. I pay attention to subtle “impressions” and “sensations” that register in the body before they can be understood by the mind. Drawing from a motif in nature, I am also reflecting upon of my fully embodied presence before it. 
 
Superabundant  environments such as forests have been one central motif to my drawings, their undulating light and obscurity the visual embodiment of how I have experienced knowledge and vision -- that lingering sense of mystery accompanies every small, partial revelation. Through an aggregate of little marks on a white sheet of paper, I create a facade which at once reveals light and veils whatever lies beyond it.