Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Katie Caron - Cranbrook

Animation #7, 2007
Video – clay, water, stop motion animation
(Installation behind curtain) Arrow pointing to right.

My name is Katie Marineau-Caron. The town that I’m from is Willimantic, Connecticut. I have been working as a ceramic artist for the last seven years, I would say. My work began as very material-based, in terms of ceramics and technically what I do with ceramics, but over the years it has evolved to be more about sculpture and site-specific installation work. The ideas that I am interested in in my work have to do with life and death, the relationship between the two, movement, evolution, and entropy.

So my work sort of began functionally, I wasn’t traditionally trained. I worked with pottery, vessels. But as I began to get more invested in the process, I realized that I wasn’t interested in functional ceramics at all. I was more interested in space, interior and exterior space. I began working in Boston where I went to school at Boston University. But I was an education major there, I wasn’t an art major. Upon my father’s death in 1998, I really began to reevaluate what I was doing with my life, my goals, and then I realized that I really wanted to be an artist. So I moved to Colorado, and I began making art there. Being alone, hiking in the mountains, taking in the textures in the environment, really changed what my work was about. My work started to be abstract, organic, improvisations. Taking in the things I saw in the natural world and abstracting them in my studio. I was really interested in technique, glaze, texture. I started working with steel, building armatures, working larger, combining media, interested in the idea of hybridity between materials. Really interested in sort of man-made versus organic forms: what we were doing with our environment and how we were sort of affecting our world in a negative way. So combining found objects and steel and metal with my organic forms to sort of create a tension between the two. But every time I was in the studio, I just felt really frustrated, like there was something missing, the work was empty. It looked beautiful, I enjoyed making it, but it didn’t feel like it came from me inside.

That’s when I decided to come to Cranbrook and study under Tony Hepburn. He’s an amazing mentor. Since arriving here at Cranbrook, I’ve come to understand who I am more and what my work really is about. I’m still taking in information from my environment, but it’s coming through me now. Through my life experiences, through my past, and through the things that I want to do with my life. And I’m still trying to understand for myself who I really am. There’s still a lot more evolution that will come with my work, but the work that I’ve been making so far at Cranbrook has a lot to do with myself. How I feel about home, how I feel about being uncomfortable as an artist, what it means to be an artist, trying to work more intuitively, trying to work out myself through my work, working innately. A lot of the drawings that I’ve been doing in my studio have to do with the idea of migration of civilizations, of time. My animations have to do with life and movement, and my curiosity about why things are alive. So it’s still an investigation, and I’m excited to see what comes next. I’m learning that my work is to be a reflection of who I am, and I think it’s starting to become that.

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