Kathy Butterly - Artist Statement
Kathy Butterly’s recent work is informed by her interest in the formal aspects of the “line” in addition to her ongoing interest in color. She views her work as painting and sculpture equally, which allows her to explore the abundant qualities inherent in each respective medium; form, color, emotion, strength, fragility, volume, flatness, etc. Rendering these qualities into three-dimensions allows her to push boundaries and develop an expression of emotion and information. The strength of her work can be found within the space it occupies, somewhere between dualities, between contrast and contradictions, in both form and content.
In her process, the form she casts and carves is the foundational line. She works intuitively, not starting with any concrete idea of the outcome, but allowing the objects to develop over time. Butterly’s objects are defined by the outline of their shape, the sensual contours of their open forms, and their folds which delineate space. This is the groundwork for which the next series of lines are added with brushwork.
The lines created by brushstrokes evoke a variety of traits: delicate lines express perfection, anxiety, strength or fragility; while broad strokes describe confidence, directionality, chaos, aggression or joy. In addition to her line’s emotive qualities they also convey a physicality. There are whispers of lines, some built-up becoming objects like beads giving the viewer a place to focus, and others flattening out a form and becoming graphic.
Her focus on color also revolves around formal, psychological and physical concerns. Butterly adds color, and then fires the color in the kiln, reacting to the results. She continues this process until the piece is finished, taking up to 40 times in the kiln, and up to a year to complete a single work.
The artist describes these works as “capsules of events”; they encapsulate her feelings of world events, personal events and observations that occur during their evolution. Most importantly, her intention is to have her work have meaning, to feel necessary, and to have presence.