Andy Goldsworthy OBE, a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, said that “We often forget that we are Nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”
Despite this, I sense a schism between human and nature—more specifically, human and animal—that I cannot reconcile. There is a wildness that I see in animals that lies dormant in humans. It is there, but repressed, surfacing only when we are at our most vulnerable, our most reactive.
We construct our humanness—our culture, society, and civility. We inject meaning into symbols and develop a sense of control and structure. My work examines what it is to strip ourselves of this "Humanness” or, at the very least, to deconstruct it. I seek to understand the most fundamental essence of the human self by acknowledging the animal self. When do the two collide, clash, overlap, or become the same? If we are Nature (or Animal), then why do we constantly attempt to distinguish ourselves from it by continually repressing or attempting to control it?
-- Katie Craighill
At first glance, the artistic and the scientific appear to be entirely disparate realms. When the processes of both are broken down, however, one finds that the two inform each other in fundamental and inextricable ways. Simply put, a scientist observes, collects and interprets data, and identifies patterns in the seemingly nebulous world around them. They form hypotheses based upon these observations, test them, and ultimately communicate their findings to the public. An artist follows a similar process of observation, pattern recognition, interpretation, and expression.
I have always been an artist and a scientist. I have loved and worked with the animals I draw, both through research and as a caretaker, and in doing so, I have observed and appreciated the textures of their fur, feathers, and skin, and the patterns of their lives and their history. My line work is both improvised and yet deeply informed by the structure and patterns of the animal. My art attempts to represent the culmination of millenia of evolution; the patterns and structures that have formed, changed, and reformed; the history and development of an entire species packaged into a single perfect individual.