It begins…I slated my first solo show for 2012 today

by katinahuston


Here’s a recent work that represents what I have become known for over the past several years. And a few words that describe the thinking behind the work. (below)
I wanted to make shadow sculptures at first; flat rubbery forms that I could peel up from the ground and slap on a wall all sticky and abstract. I could make lots of them and pile car shadows up like so many 14 foot pancakes. Shadows seemed like the perfect byproducts of life; vital and mundane. I set out to capture them but like most art, it didn’t turn out as expected.
It began with a few drawings. I’d find a shadow and set the plastic underneath and draw what I saw. What I saw was a whole new world, utterly familiar, utterly unrecognizable. Ordinary objects cast shadows like space debris. How can a thing be both ‘what the hell?’ and ‘oh sure.’ I was taken. So I spent eight years developing techniques and tools. The drawings are on mylar because, on a transparency, light breathes through the drawing.
After a while the shadows stopped looking like blobs and I started to notice the range of forms from sharp to diffuse and so had to mix inks to catch that range from solid black to areas so light you can’t quite see them, only feel them there. The materials took on a life of their own, contour lines dried quickly and as I filled these, the lines served as channels, holding pools of ink that flowed through the drawings. The pools bubbled and dried leaving marks like geologic forms from evaporated lakes.
I am increasingly driven by a concept of personal archaeologies in which finding lost things, narratives and ideas, and piecing them together to build understanding fails to yield satisfying meaning but is a compelling document of the effort.