Included in a selective list of over 25 contemporary ceramic artists, Kate MacDowell‘s works are on display at the Stephen D. Paine Gallery through November 24, 2012. Earth & Alchemy presents a survey of ceramic sculpture ranging in topic from social activism to humor. The artists chosen for this exhibition have each developed novel techniques in their process of creation with ceramics.
MacDowell hand sculpts each piece in porcelain, often building a solid form and then hollowing it out. Smaller forms are built petal by petal, branch by branch. This process and chosen medium combine to highlight both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem. This also presents a paradoxical conversation regarding the material; although often fragile, it is also able to last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value.
Her sculptures often portray animals or human parts in response to environmental threats including air pollution, global warming, clear-cutting, and pesticide misuse and consequences to our health and the environment, including rapidly diminishing plant and animal species.