Kathleen Zimmerman - Featured Artist
My art is the way I explore ideas concerning relationships, stages of life and culture. It is a meditative practice of sorts that helps me stop and think about the issues of our time. As I work I find layers of meaning both intentional and unintentional, become apparent filling me with delight and wonder. I create my work in series thereby investigating each subject in-depth. The size of the series is determined by what I need to think through and what holds my interest.
Over the years I have developed a personal visual language that uses symbolism and surrealism to transform my subject matter into archetypal images giving my work a mythical quality filled with layers of meaning.I use these drawings as the basis for my print work, which is currently digital and serigraphic. The nice thing about printmaking is I can add contrast, color and sometimes texture, depending on the type of printmaking method, while still retaining the essence of the drawings. I don't want my drawings to become paintings or to rely on 'happy accidents' to make them interesting, thus I use technology in an intentional manner to enhance the original thought not to get away from it.
While I use a variety of materials, the ideas are the driving force behind these visual statements, not the materials. That is one reason why I use graphite, clay, and wood in creating the originals. They are all very expressive without taking over. When working two-dimensionally, I begin with graphite because there's an intimacy about a hand-drawn image, which I love ... whatever I put down on the paper is what I get. It is a real joy in being able to capture the creative act so purely. Julia Pavone, the curator for the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery, described my drawings as follows, 'Kathleen's intricate, delicately layered graphite drawings each appear to come together to form the complex entity. As with life, each lovely drawing is made up of so many ethereal textures, shades, and shapes that you want to look at more deeply to experience the emotions visually laid out before you.' Thank you, Julia.
When working three-dimensionally, I begin in clay or wood, both materials that are very user-friendly. Clay lets me form organic shapes that are wonderful to touch while wood lets me construct simple shapes or more complex elements to compliment and finish the statements. I then cast and fabricate these elements into more permanent materials, such as bronze or stone. I do this because all my sculptures are envisioned as life-sized or large-scale work to become part of the landscape or creating a landscape indoors. I often incorporate water as an essential material to complete the visual statement adding movement and life.