2 August – 28 October 2022
TheDock: Centre for Social Impact Satellite Gallery
300-722 Cormorant St.
The works in Left Behind/Held in Mind are a response to the human desire for ownership and our tendency to collect natural items we find attractive. Presently, we participate in a culture where we intuitively direct our attention towards animate things, and objects from nature are often seen as inconsequential, or not seen at all. Despite this lack of visual awareness, most people have experienced moments of appreciation for certain items they encounter outside, and the impulse is often to claim these as our own. Rocks, driftwood, seashells, dried flowers and other natural matter become assimilated into our domestic spaces as mementos of places we’ve been. However, living reciprocally with nature involves an overthrow of the human ego; a balancing of energies between human and non-human life. If we practice seeing nature as a sacred, self-sustaining, interconnected system, the removal of its components becomes problematic. Reciprocity demands a reevaluation of our previously assumed right to claim ownership of these natural entities.
Left Behind/Held in Mind offers an alternative approach to collecting nature, in which objects are observed, experienced, and integrated into our lives without being taken from their respective ecosystems. The paintings in this body of work are composed of imagery collected on a hike in Olympic National Park, Washington. Using a camera, a sketchbook, and/or memory, I documented natural items I found compelling, spending time examining the details of each one before returning it to its place. The paintings are composed of fragments of these images; they are collages of the visual intricacies of multiple objects contributing to one energetic system. Through the process of painting I was able to further interact with the qualities of these objects and experience their forms in new ways. The abstraction of colour and form reflects my personal connection with the energy of these entities. This practice of collecting images rather than objects presents a sustainable way of communing with natural objects that invites a more reciprocal relationship with nature.
About the artist:
Kathryn (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Lekwungen Territory/Victoria, BC, whose practice explores and critiques the way humans see, experience, and relate to the natural world. Integrating her background in neuroscience, as well as earth-based practices such as hiking, gardening and farming, her work attempts to offer new perspectives on our relationships within nature. Often referencing places and species she encounters around coastal BC, her paintings utilize abstraction and collage to formulate new landscapes that reconsider the way we encounter the natural environment. Kathryn completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting at OCAD University (2021), and her work has been exhibited in Toronto and Victoria. Kathryn is represented by Sweetpea Gallery.