March 7 – 29, 2014
Reception: Friday March 7, 6-9 p.m.
Touched by the ravages of war in Northern Uganda, “Fleeting Moments” is a body of work that chronicles my emotional experiences during the 7 years that I lived in Uganda. In my paintings, I seek to expose the courage and perseverance of a vibrant people whose culture was, for a fleeting moment in time, my own. I have worked with mixed mediums to abstract images, and engage my whole body in movement in order to develop a wide range of marks on paper. The flow of uncontrolled patches of paint stitch themselves together to form invented faces. With the expression of marks, the emotion of a stroke is flattened on the page. In this moment of released physical marks, the weight of my memories is lifted from my mind onto the paper.
Katrina Keane was born in Zimbabwe, and raised in Indonesia, Thailand, Uganda, and Nepal. From childhood, lullabies, songs, and tales helped her to understand the importance of traditions and cultural values. Through a collection of songs and stories, she connected to the culture of her surroundings. She came to know and love the heroism of everyday warriors who have the resilience to constantly triumph over the chaos around them.
Katrina is currently pursuing an MFA in Graphic Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She completed dual BFA degrees in Drawing and Environmental Design at MICA. Several paintings from this show were exhibited on the Disegno 5 national tour in 2012. Her paintings have also been on exhibited locally in Baltimore.
Visit the artist’s website at katrinakeane.com
Signs and Symbols
Of her work, artist Libby Black writes, “Making the work is a way to take pleasure in re-creating attractive objects while also coding my identities (as a daughter, a lesbian, an artist, a mother, a dreamer).” My recent artistic practice involves creating playful, intuitive, and beautiful objects that are also metaphors of identity. The x motif in my recent work represents unity and duality, and also self-presentation: variations on what we make clear and what we hide, what we show or mask.
Themes of selfhood are also encoded in a painting through process, as a work’s change and growth is like the fluid and complex evolution of personal identity. I think of each piece as an independent and singular thing, a self in its own right. I work on it until it feels differentiated and discrete, but raw enough to seem about to change and shift, to slip at the edges. It is whole and open, ready to exist in relationship to other pieces alike and dissimilar.
The varied works in this show speak to my intuitive process of making things. Through exuberant play and improvisation, I try to resist firm limits. The resulting works are disparate, but also part of a whole: a very particular ensemble of individual objects and relationships. This composition of textures, materials, colors, and connecting and contrasting symbols are a document of my process and meditations on what it means to be a thing, a person, a meaning.
Becca Kallem received her MFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire, with a BA in Art and Spanish from the College of William and Mary. She held a Fulbright teaching fellowship in Madrid, Spain and has taught painting and drawing at the George Washington University, Arlington Public Schools in Arlington, Virginia, and for community center programs in the DC area. She has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Most recently, her work has been exhibited at Washington and Lee University and Heiner Contemporary in Washington, DC. She is a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center and a member of the Sparkplug artist collective.
Visit the artist’s website at beccakallem.com