Art and Design | Art Practice | Photography
Lace Lichen (2) is black-and-white digital photography.
I hate the rain. I've always hated the rain. Never liked looking at it nor walking in it. Yet for some reason I chose to live in Oregon for four years. Why Kytana, why??! However, with no car, and 15-minute walks to destinations, I had no real choice but to be outside and in it. I used to keep my head down looking at the same boring-ass grey pavement, only looking up to make sure I didn't get hit by a car when I crossed the street. It sucked. Then, I started using my 15-minute walks as a time to boot up and deflate. That was the only time and space I had to myself and thus I walked a little slower. The slower I walked the more inclined I was to look up. Even though the sky was grey and my glasses would become covered in rain drops, I started to pay attention to the hydrangea bushes sagged in the rain and the reindeer lichen clinging to the bark of trees. I noticed some plants seemed to survive while others were just enduring. Enduring the shitty weather just like me. Turns out me and those plants I was seeing every day weren't that different at all. Human beings and plants/fungi are both extraordinarily complex and fragile. They're both in continuous cycles of growth and decay. Evolving and devolving. That's what I see myself doing as both an artist and a person.
Evok Devok: Organic Self is an exploration of how I see myself through various plant and fungi. The more interested I became in looking closer at various plants and fungi, like these photographs of Lace Lichens and Coprinus Cinerea Mushrooms, the more I saw reflections of how I see myself. They're so small and delicate that they are often overlooked, but it doesn't mean they're not as complex, raw, and important as the rest of their peers. I too often feel insignificant and overlooked. I know I appear as this towering, stout woman but on the inside, I feel much like a piece of lace lichen that is knotted and holed, or like a drooping Coprinus Cinerea mushroom that curls up after only a few hours of life and wilts with a bizarre sense of grace. When I create my coiled vessels, I think of them not only as organic shapes infused with fungi/plant motifs but as abstracted representations of my body, from the spiral "navel" to coiled "neck." Robust and curved, these vessels represent not only my basic physical shape but my complex nature with the tight and dense network of exposed coils featuring the same spiral motif from base to tip. Varying from culture to culture, the spiral is essentially a symbolic representation of connection, balance and direction beginning from the core that expands outwardly. By placing the biggest spiral at the "navel" or center of my base, I not only visually root my vessels to "grow," but for myself to grow as well.
Winn, Kytana, "Lace Lichen (2)" (2017). 2017 Student Thesis Exhibition. Image. Submission 1.