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Colony Collapse by Kat Howard Sculpture

The Common Thread Gallery

United States


Size: 32 W x 32 H x 1 D in

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About The Artwork

I make work that addresses women’s relationships to their bodies, and the roles that their bodies have played throughout history. “I am just the messenger, my hands have not marked this history,” is repeated over and over again in the historical documents I encounter during my research of women persecuted as witches. In my work, I try to capture this moment that occurs where society turns away from what is happening, in an attempt to hold the eye open. By using history as a lens to examine the female body, I am able to explore the charged awareness of my own body and identity as a survivor of physical and sexual violence. This piece is an interrogation of the aftermath of trauma, and the manmade halt to women’s transformation to equality, knowledge, and power. Under the guise of witch, men systematically persecuted women who held knowledge or power, often killing midwives and healers, destroying entire matriarchal communities. Colony Collapse compares this history to man’s obsessive control, and resulting destruction in nature. Hundreds of farmed silk cocoons were dyed black and sliced open to display the empty shells left by the worms when they were forcibly removed before fully transforming. The cocoons almost entirely obscure my handwoven linen. BIOGRAPHY Kat Howard was born in Rochester, New York in 1984. She earned a BA in Creative Writing from Brandeis University in 2006, and worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art until 2010, when she left the museum world to pursue an MFA in Book Art & Creative Writing, which she received from Mills College in 2013. Since graduating, she has been working as an independent artist exhibiting her work across the country, and abroad. She also teaches book art and weaving workshops. Kat started her creative practice as a poet, but soon sought physical means to represent the fabric of her writing. She founded Book Meat Studio in 2009. Kat lives and works in Kingston, New York at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains set deep in the Hudson Valley.

Details & Dimensions

Sculpture:Fiber on Soft (Yarn, Cotton, Fabric)

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:32 W x 32 H x 1 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

My name is Brittany Wittman McLaughlin and as an artist, educator, and curator, I created The Common Thread Gallery as an online gallery to promote and encourage women artists so that they receive the recognition and praise for their work as a contemporary expression of fine art. I engage in and teach weaving as an art form and a way of healing. I inspire, educate, and empower artists to cultivate their ideas with an openness to new creative processes and sense of self discovery through art making. Participation in the arts creates more complete human beings who are critical thinkers, who have curious minds, and who lead productive lives. My work in supporting and promoting artists impacts the world of contemporary art by exhibiting and promoting fiber as a medium of fine art expression. Art helps to heal our world and addresses narratives that are important during our time. The purpose of the work is to communicate ideas – politically, spiritually, or philosophically; to create beauty; and to explore the nature of our perceptions. I am educated in Art and Design and I have professional experience in both academia and industry. I earned my MFA in Sculpture from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2005 and BS in Textile Design from Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science in 1997.

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