Kate MacDowell’s New Work

New work has recently been posted and available by sculptor Kate MacDowell. Kate MacDowell’s work celebrates the narrative tradition, often evoking humankind’s relations with nature. (Above, Quiet as a Mouse).

We do not want merely to see beauty…..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. (Above, Stolen 1 & Stolen 2).

Kate MacDowell writes, “In my work this Romantic ideal of our relationship to the natural world conflicts with the reality of our current impact on the environment.  My pieces are in part responses to environmental threats including air pollution, global warming, clear-cutting, and pesticide misuse; and their consequences to our health and the environment including rapidly diminishing plant and animal species.  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 us 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 implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.” (Above, Stolen 1, detail).

“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.”  (Above, Quiet as a Mouse, unique and available per mouse).

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