Kate MacDowell makes incredible works of art, akin to installation pieces, out of porcelain, a medium she chose for its “luminous and ghostly qualities as well as its strength and ability to show fine texture.”
Detailed and realistic, these pieces make loud and piercing statements about the troubled relationship between man and the natural world, but remain elegant and delicate. They “borrow from myth” (one example is this piece, titled Persephone, which references the myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hades to the Underworld, in which she mistakenly eats the seeds of a pomegranate he offers to her, thus forcing her to spend a quarter of each year in the Underworld – in MacDowell’s vision, the pomegranate’s seeds are actually pills, tablets with a neat little line down the middle); other sources of inspiration include “art history, figures of speech, and other cultural touchstones.”
The pieces are visual metaphors, or illustrated “figures of speech,” such as a pair of lungs with canaries inside them, or a dead rabbit containing a human skeleton. In MacDowell’s world, man and nature are grafted to each other, repeatedly, in surreal and subtly horrific ways. As she explains, often “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.”
Check out her work below, and be amazed. More can be seen on her Website.
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