Art Practice Statement
"My artwork entails transforming parts of vehicles that are consigned to a scrap heap into eye-catching and often garish re-workings of their primary purposes. This is done in the form of painting, using “craft” materials such as neon vinyl, glitter and other boldly coloured symbolism, showcasing both the necessity for glamour in vehicle representation, but also a distracting and brazen disrespectfulness to quietly dying objects. By removing them from this de-commissioned context, they almost find themselves to be in another life just through the movement of dying itself.
It also aims to critique personalisation of our transport and questions the value of everyday machines when facing the end of a functional life, as this melancholic iconicism and characterisation acts as a diary affixed to the surface of the vehicle, honing in on this shrine of selective beauty; one that sees past a car’s designated commission. They start to explore time, entropy, ceremony, popular culture and a poetic outlook on obsolescence in every day life."
ART PRACTICE PORTFOLIO
My research mainly responds to the ways that scheduled obsolescence is a valid part of modern day ecological processes; the breaking-down of common objects in everyday life. I spent a long time investigating attachments and connections to personal items whose materiality is expected to degrade and become useless (or de-commissioned). This idea can be found in many current TV programmes such as Rhythm & Flow (2019) and many docu-series’ such as DJ Mehdi's 2006 music video for Signatune , focusing on car-culture, i.e. the types of people involved, status and emotional investment of personal objects: in my exploratory case, cars. Artists such as Roger Hiorns have given me the confidence to understand that “dominant objects” such as cars are never too obnoxious to work with. I’ve also been actively engaged with themes around entropy; the escalation of chaos in naturally building dis-order; how nature always prevails over clean inferences by the human aesthetic. Due to these endeavours, I highlight the commonly forgotten and present ceremonious ‘stages’ for the objects to have a new lease of life. To balance this, I have been exploring how to interact with their didactic purpose; how to deal with and represent the ecological consequence of cars. The inclusion of Audi was one of the first paths I took when my work naturally gravitated to the mechanical world. I was interested in the company as a whole; their ethos, consistency and manifesto reflecting ecological needs. After a visit to Berlin (where the history of the Auto-Union is still rife within Germany), I was able to form a coherent historical storyline that used to begin abstracting into my work (i.e. how the bold symbol of car logos often have meanings). I played with stretching out the logo to form links, making it my own brand in a way. They represent a rise from the old, taking a new direction and growing again.
Through the process of both digital and physical drawings & proposals, I have been able to imagine how large objects will be differently placed in the real world without needing to use the substantial labour to place them. My investigations have included the experimentation of materials; casting in plaster and painting on isolated vehicle metal with paints that create the highest, gloss shine, also adding to the more tawdry effect of glitter on metal surfaces; it adds satirical value onto the critique of graffitied high-powered (and well designed) machines. This creates the works exhibitionist value, no longer a functioning part, but a chrysalis of museum-grade resting state.
Katelyn is a Scottish painter who lives and works in Edinburgh and a graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art (2020). Her work has been used and seen in collaborative Biennales and performances as well as in renowned art-spaces that promote inclusivity and utilises themes which touch on important questions around ecological and socio-cultural sustainability.