Wednesday, February 17, 2010

5 x 5 Submission 65 - Kristie Severn

Kristie Severn
Kristie Severn's website
I am a Seattle artist who was born and raised in the Yakima Valley. My BFA in painting has grown to incorporate printmaking, sewing, collage and encaustic sculpture. 2006 brought me to a residency in New York at Cooper Union. There was great discussion among the critiques at this residency regarding the element of “beauty” in my work. I have spent much time contemplating this force in my life— its roots, influence and ability to heal. In losing my mother at an early age, I experienced the depths of human emotion on multiple levels and without much understanding. My grandmother became a dominant figure in my life and I carry many of her passions into my work.

I am a stitch.
I run.
I obsess.
I wobble.
I pierce.
I function.
I heal.

Beauty is not merely a characteristic of my work, but its force and voice. Intimated by pain. Spoken with vulnerability. Propelled by compassion. A trail which acknowledges our complexities and finds a way to release them. An invisible embrace which awakens the heart and silences the mind.

I play out this infinite dialogue with fabric and thread, paint and pencils –materials that have been my solace since the beginning of my own physical and emotional pain. They seem to speak a hypnotic language which provides some sort of escape. And they cover me like a giant hand-made “Helen” quilt full of strength and safety.

My process is one of intuition. This is not to say it is exclusively an impulsive act. But one in which I must trust the tools I have acquired for making art and rely on my gut reactions to guide the process. Lines dance. Scratches reveal. Thick layers hide. Passages of thread, repetitive marks and color interweave like the strips of a quilt.

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