Uncomfortable questions: Porcelain sculptures by Kate McDowell.

The link between subjects like environmental degradation and industrialization is taxing for politicians. Scientists argue the links are unequivocal whilst groups on the side of industry seek to cast doubt on scientific findings. In this context, conceptual artist Kate McDowell’s beautiful and delicate porcelain sculptures explore relationships between environmental issues, nature and people, in work that is sometimes as disturbing as it is compelling.

In her own words:

“In my work this romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our contemporary impact on the environment. These pieces are in part responses to environmental stressors including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops. They also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones. In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for ourselves and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world. In others, animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to protect them from man-made environmental threats.”

The American Museum of Ceramic Art is displaying some of Kate Mc Dowell’s work until January 26th 1013.

With gratitude to This is colossal.



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