KATHRYN KNUDSEN: PLUME
The work of Kathryn Knudsen is influenced by colors, shapes, and patterns found in nature. Called Plume, her exhibition is made by organizing small bits of brightly colored felt, fabric, and thread into radiating patterns, creating objects that mimic cells, leaves, petals, and ornamental bird feathers. By working with recycled materials, her practice gives new life to the unwanted or ignored. Although the materials are found, and usually unaltered beyond cutting, shaping, and arranging them into new shapes and they are carefully selected for both their textural properties and natural colors—not oversaturated or machine-made.
The texture of the fabric and the process of layering allow the elements of the work to break the two-dimensional plane so often used to represent nature in traditional paintings. The restriction of the rectangle format is also avoided permitting the work to define its own organic edge or stopping point. These strategies also help to reinforce the idea of natural elements growing and surpassing the restrictions surrounding them. As such, the work and the process of making seems to reference to creation, growth, and renewal. Representations of lifecycles are mirrored in Knudsen’s materials.
Pushing further past traditional nature paintings, Knudsen’s work is more closely aligned with abstraction while borrowing from the aesthetics, materials, and processes of craft-based artwork.