Consume Me, Consume Me

July 9 – August 7, 2022

Kat Howard

To Assume a Pleasing Shape, I Bend

2022
raffia, waxed cotton thread
288 x 12 inch (installation modular)

720 x 30 cm (installation modular)

 

Press Release

'Consume Me, Consume Me' presents a collection of new work that interrogates the insidious nature of what it means to exist within and be controlled by the dynamics of an abusive
relationship. Each installation invades the viewer's personal space. Existing as bound forms, the sculptures emulate the feeling of being overwhelmed and contained, something is trying to reach out and touch, but it can't. They encapsulate the haunting desire for connection, even a poisoned connection, one that destroys in the consuming.

Repetition and labor are integral aspects to the work. Through the labor, the tension of longing for touch is palpable. I want the viewer to sense the hours, the fevered precision, and the repetition which acts as an echo of the madness in the mind that comes to claim the body. Looking in from the outside, the control is invisible and can only be witnessed upon closer inspection in nearly transparent threads, thousands of knots and cut openings. But from within the domestic space, the walls appear solid and impenetrable. Victims are unhinged by a feeling of restraint within their own bodies. Oftentimes, the first question asked is why doesn't she leave? She begins to wonder this herself and becomes consumed by the feeling: 'I must like it if I stay.'

I create visual art that uses abstraction, the innate language of texture, and the repulsion/attraction of touch to interrogate my own identity as a survivor of abuse and sexual violence. The material and texture of the object is integral to my practice, and its connection to the body. Evidence of the hand and the physical marks of the body are always present in my work. What happens to the body when it is forced to become a vessel for trauma? In what ways do we physically carry pain? How is the self altered afterwards? These are some of the questions I examine in my practice. My pieces either have a physicality to them that feels almost human, or they are twisted abstractions from the domestic landscape.