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Katie St. Clair: Solo Exhibition at SNRE

Katiestclair lg

Second Nature, a solo exhibition by Katie St. Clair, opens Jan. 28th with an artist talk from 4 – 5pm at the School for Natural Resources and Environment.

Katie St. Clair is currently in her final year as an MFA candidate at the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. 

My large scale landscapes weave layers of paint into fragmented photo collages of highly detailed images of nature. I gather these images from my natural surroundings and, most recently, from roadside locations that challenge my assumptions about where nature is most vibrantly manifested.

Drainage ditches, land between gas stations and street medians are places that breed uncertainty. They are largely ignored boundary lands, gathering the detritus of our culture into a tentative wildness. Unless we have a reason to be in these places, they are glanced over, forgotten, lost, or just never found. Children see the possibility of these places; in adulthood it takes open eyes, imagination and a willingness to explore that is rare. Every day I expand my awareness of this territory and submerge myself in experiences that inform my thinking.

In the details of my work there is a meeting place of constructed human spaces and natural environments. I complicate the interaction by cutting into the images, so it takes longer to read them. A collage is a layering of experiences, most of which are felt and not seen in their absence. Images that hold tense conversations, textures that rub shoulders, and the weaving composition that holds these complexities while also guiding direction. These choices create an atmosphere, in spatial form rather than linear understanding.

I believe that displacement shows us things we may have overlooked. The title Second/​Nature derives from my process of giving these images a new space to be investigated. When we become aware of all the subtleties around us, we open our senses to a new world and ways of seeing.