Submitted by: Maia Stark, Gallery Assistant
Kate MacDowell did not initially plan her life around being a craftsperson and artist. MacDowell began a career teaching in urban high schools, then created websites in a high tech corporate environment, and then, somewhat contrarily, went to India and volunteered at a rural meditation retreat— it was only when she returned to the United States in 2004 that she began to study ceramics, and only then as something to occupy herself until her “next step.” However, MacDowell quickly became engaged with the medium of clay (Wolfe, Interview with Kate MacDowell) and is now a recognized and established ceramicist and artist.
|Uprooted, hand built porcelain, 2007
“In my work [the] 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 each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.” katemacdowell.com
|Badgered, hand built porcelain, 2010
Often MacDowell’s message is quite clear: be wary, we are connected to our natural world and what we do to it we also do to ourselves.