Artist of the Day…Kate MacDowell
The work of Kate MacDowell can be argued to not be for the faint of heart. MacDowell’s work combines human features and themes with that of nature – either plant life or animal life. I wanted to feature her work because while I think it can be a bit unnerving to view, I find it fascinating in how well she melds all the organic elements of life to create these unique, slightly disturbing, yet beautiful sculptures.
MacDowell has lived an experienced life through many places and cultures of the world. In her artist’s statement, she uses the C.S. lewis quote “We do not want merely to see beauty…we want…to be united with the beauty we see…to become part of it.” I think this quote is a perfect summation of her work because that is exactly what her sculptures convey – the human need to be one with beauty…more specifically, the beauty of nature. I think that’s why I’m drawn to her sculptures. Especially the lighted ones. I think there’s something beautiful about displaying the natural elements of all living things. The branches and vines she uses in her works remind me of veins (which carry a being’s lifeforce) and I’m sure you could deduce your own conclusions about what the other elements could mean to you.
To learn more about MacDowell’s fascinating views on how her work is a reflection of how she perceives life, check out this article. I would actually love to go to an exhibit of hers (and she’s had many), to be surrounded by such intense work is bound to be enlightening!