My art always begins with nature, as I think having spent time as a youth canoe tripping in Algonquin Park and Quetico Park with Taylor Statten Campshad such a profound effect on me. My recent series has been evolving over the past year since thesis at OCADu in 2019, when I met a Rapids Clubtail dragonfly while drawing plein air in the Oak Ridges Moraine. This 350 million year old creature is metaphor of transformation and self realization
I create stylized visuals of imagined transformations with biological images of wings, distorting and recolouring them in the digital world. The wing forms become abstracted and unusual shapes and lines emerge, moving like the wind and water currents, changing and evolving. The colours are varied, as when the light is reflecting on the wings. Sometimes I will also intertwine hand drawn figures or text from philosophy or poetry, intensifying the idea of things combining, changing, shifting or transforming overtime This year her new series has expanded to include florals and butterflies.
The process that I use to create is a synthesis of digital technology and applying thick paint (on canvas) or pastel (on mulberry handmade paper) on top of the digital print. As much as I enjoy working with the lushness of paint and pastel, my material choices are as important as the subjects in communicating a deeper meaning to the work. Combining both digital and more traditional ways of making making speaks to the importance of the synthesis of technology from today and from our history. I believe it is knowledge from both that can help us understand ourselves ore deeply and offer better solutions to our survival on this planet.
During my thesis year at OCADU in 2019 and the year after graduation, my art practice centred around the dragonfly and now for this new series the butterfly. Both are a metaphor of transformation and self- realization across many cultures, the butterfly in particular is seen as a creature that crosses other worlds.
I create stylized images of imagined transformations and bring in biological imagery of wings that I transform and distort, imagining the wind currents as these insects move and adapts to these changing conditions in order to survive. The works are a synthesis of the latest technology using digital Procreate on an ipad and more traditional ways of making by painting or using pastel overtop.
I hope my work can offer the viewer a world that has the ability to give a joyful experience, one that is good for the soul and can awaken the imagination. It is a place that reflects my feelings about the time I spend in nature and what I learn from it from my readings about biology and the creature I am studying. I believe art is what opens us to new ways of seeing and thinking about ourselves and the world around us.
Instagram handle: @katemaura