Overlooked - Overgrown

Kimberly McCarthy

28 July 2017 - 21 August 2017

OPENING RECEPTION Friday, 28 July 2017, 5 - 8 pm

Artist Statement

Finding inspiration in nature, from the surrounding mountain vistas to the local vegetation, I began to take notice the small wildflowers that littered my everyday path, admiring them for their innocent beauty and resilience. Plants that are overlooked and unseen by most and branded as “weeds”, I saw as beacons of strength, hope and perseverance.

Sightings of dandelions blooming among rubble beside sidewalks; ivy clinging to shady building walls, and small walnut trees sprouting in littered rain gutters, filled my mind as I collected these thoughts each day and rendered them in my sketchbooks. I watched the life cycles of the trees and flowers transform each season and observed the wildflowers and weeds grow, bloom and thrive in environments classified as unfertile and unsustainable.

I began to wonder, what classifies a plant as a weed? And does this classification mean they are truly undesirable? I began to study the botanical, medicinal and historical origin of the plants I was encountering.  The knowledge I learned made these overlooked floras even more fascinating.

Lithography allows me to easily translate my plein-air drawings onto a limestone that will respond to every subtle value and mark I place upon it, in the same way drawing on paper would. This original drawing can then be printed in the multiple, where I can explore different color combinations or paper variations of one image. The small books I create are intimate and delicate, yet durable and familiar objects, not unlike the wildflowers I depict. Their small size calls the viewer to step closer for further investigation, in the same way I would approach a small wild plant. Books allow me to incorporate other methods of printing, papermaking, cyanotype and dying, while also explore themes of nature in a tactile and engaging medium. Through printmaking and bookmaking I bring attention to the unnoticed wild plants that grow all around us and hope to educate others of these small and resilient, wild beauties.


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