Work table : Land grab series

It's been too long since I wrote a work table post. I've been dividing my time between a clay studio and my main studio, so lots of things are packed up daily and moved around. I've also spent a lot of time on the computer (which I keep far away from my studio) pouring over satellite images and reading rather dry texts on land development. But I've also been sketching, so here's a peek at my work table this week.

The series is really starting to come together and I finally feel like I have some worthwhile progress to share. I have narrowed down the series to twelve countries where land grabbing is prevalent, each with a completely different story to tell. The choice of medium should be obvious: broken plates, broken food system. You've likely seen the floor installations progressing, with two down and ten more to go. The design evolves as I create them, you must make to learn. I just had an epiphany while working on Sierra Leone today. This is Brazil below.

Brazil, Land Grab Series, 2012. Broken plates 6'x 7'.
But I'm also developing a wall installation. I have no idea yet if these will go together with the floor pieces in one show, we shall see. I have always loved the weirdness of decorative plates on a wall, like this.

I never quite saw the point and always found it amusing. But, here I go, taking this idea and making it work for this series. I'm developing a series of plates that can be used but are displayed in the gallery or home as a wall hanging. The plates are in the shape of actual farmland in the countries I've chosen and are grouped exactly as they exist on land. I will provide GPS coordinates on each piece so the owner can look up the numbers and see the farm from satellite.

Plates in progress of farms in Brazil.
Each country has vastly different terrain and the crops are varied so each series of plates will look quite different. These are soy farms that will likely be handed over for cattle ranching in the near future. The way they will be glazed is an entire post alone, which I'll share with you in January.

Plates in progress of farms in Brazil.
What I love about these pieces is they are similar to the foreclosure quilts. Different subject matter but same translation of maps onto utilitarian objects. And, so far, I seem to be having a similar response from everyone about the series. People relate to the story. It seems to touch everyone, not just art lovers and gallery goers. I just read a great quote from eating designer, Marije Vogelzang, "Every day that you eat, you are deciding what the world looks like." And you do. Look down at the food you eat during your next meal. Do you know where it came from?


Ellen Vesters said...

Powerful stuff, Kathryn...

sharon young said...

What a great idea, I love looking at the progression of your work, it's so different and your ideas behind each piece are fascinating.

kathrynclark said...

Thanks so much for the kind words! So much further to go!

Anonymous said...

Sorry that I forgot to send you my sculpture tools and other things-I promise that I will do this after the new year. :(


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