KATHRYN E. MARTIN: FLOTANT
October 12, 2008–January 11, 2009
kathryn e. martin, Flotant, mixed media.
Wisconsin artist kathryn e. martin is interested in the potential for artistic expression that everyday objects possess. She deconstructs these ordinary forms—often tens of thousands of them—then shapes the accumulated fragments into immersive environments that are both elegant and monumental.
By definition, “flotant” means to fly or stream in the air. Exploring this notion, martin will transform the gallery into a floating marsh (suspended by extruded plastic rods). Masses of rims—from approximately 50,000 Styrofoam cups—will hover over the walls and spill onto the gallery floor, making the large open space feel intimate. Unified through repetition, grouping, proximity, and density, the rims lose their association with the cups. martin’s environment references Yann Martel’s novel, Life of Pi, in which an Indian boy, Pi, finds himself on a floating island that is both temporary shelter and place of hope. In this installation, created specifically for the Arts Center, martin plays with the negative spaces formed by the rims to evoke an inviting island mass, at once visible and invisible.