As her inspiration, Kate MacDowell looks at professional wildlife photos, scientific diagrams and even snapshots of roadkill. She also buys plastic animal toys with realistic anatomy. This is all to create some of the most interesting and bizarre porcelain sculptures we’ve ever seen. First, why does she choose to work with this interesting medium?
“I first started experimenting with it because of its translucence,” she tells us. “When I lit it from within I could evoke the effect of an ultrasound or x-ray used to look inside the body. I could also reference marble sculpture – both classical and baroque, and more contemporary tomb statuary, and draw the viewer’s eye to the form rather the surface colors of the piece. A pure white piece also speaks to me of ghosts or negative space–it suggests something missing from the world. Finally, because it's extremely fine textured, yet strong and dense, it can hold minute details well.”
MacDowell’s sculptures asks us to look at how the human society impacts our natural world. “In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices,” she says.