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Katie St. Clair: Swale


Katie St. Clair

In 2015, I spent five months on the west coast of Ireland. I had no idea how drastically the nuances of my experiences, although seemingly banal and placid at times, could produce such a rich influence on my work. I spend my winter mornings walking over the landscape of the Burren. Large surface rocks, called ‘Glacial Erratics’, catch my eye. I follow them, like an array of markers, making a course over the limestone pavements. I stop to consider their presence, and see them as a momentary assortment, lingering here temporarily after being carried by the fluxes of past glaciers. They seem to sit lightly now, while the soft day-to-day mineral erosions of wind and interspersing rain play out in the fresh happenings around them. I wonder as to their potential, perhaps as a reminder that some things shouldn’t be controlled, understood or neatly organized. I started painting by questioning what I knew of rocks as being heavy, inert, ancient, and lifeless, forgoing their likeness to capture their essence. A sense of dichotomy was building on the painting surface, that rocks could be simultaneously stationary yet seemingly fleeting, or indestructible yet delicate like a butterfly wing.