KAIT ARNDT

Ceramic Sculptures



Statement

My work is organized and structured around the precepts of a grid. In their ideal form, grids are an arrangement of unified structures of perfect and equal dimension coming together to create a system of strength and order. Point by point, they have no flaws, they fulfill expectations of reliability, they are the embodiment of stability. While this preconceived form –universal and identifiable- is the foundation of my sculptures; my human hand, the pliable nature of my material, the volatile nature of change in its process allows the work to become something much more.

These forms are representations. They embody my questions. How is it possible to exist in structured social systems and institutions –represented by the grid- while at the same time maintaining freedom and variety as individuals? How do we keep from falling apart under the weight of it? How do we remain?

The way in which I create, with intention and understanding of my material and its process, allows me to use the idea of a grid to take a shape that creates a sense of conflict, of struggle, of dependency, and of vulnerability inherent to our human condition and the connections we share in it. My grids are created with pinched coils, organized in a loose and indiscriminate way that lends to separations and instability made possible by the drying and firing process of the work. They are built with intention, balancing control with awareness and an acceptance of the change and distortion that happens in the kiln. This sets up a dialogue within the works. It is between the preconceived strength and structure of the ideal grid and the deviation presented in the distorted, teetering, near crippled grid I give the viewer.  

When the viewer encounters my work, I want them to be confronted by tension. It is formed between the preconceived ideas of structure, organization, and stability and the vulnerability expressed through my touch and the precarious presence of the work that often violently deviates from those ideas. For me the structure of a perfect grid would be utterly disappointing, lacking the forged-under-fire, strength-in-conviction found in the imperfection of humanity. It is tension that keeps it all together.

 

Biography

One of the first things you will hear about me is that I may be obsessed with cats. While this is probably true, its important to understand that I am not a cat lady. I am, however, a ceramic nerd.

I grew up in Boise Idaho where the landscape and nature became very important. Most of my summers growing up involved long camping trips in the rocky mountains or traveling to near by national parks. Working in my studio has the same impact on me as does being in the wild. Clay has the ability to transform into anything without judgement. 

In 2006 I moved to Logan Utah where I attended Utah State University, and later received my BFA degree in 2010. Utah provided many different opportunities for me. I was able to travel abroad twice during undergraduate experience which was an amazing experience. Traveling is important for my studio practice because of the feeling of exposure. Being in an unfamiliar area and having to stumble around to find your way is terrifying and at the same time exciting.

I recently returned from a five month residency in Taiwan, which has been one of the biggest impact on my work. I completed my MFA degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2016 and am currently an Artist in Residence at the KC Clay Guild and teaching at K-State. 

 

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