______ work, 2016

______ work, 2016

“_______ work” is a six-hour endurance performance drawing and installation I executed at the Vergette Gallery here at Southern Illinois University in the fall of 2016.  The installation included a paper I patch worked together from tracing paper and wheat paste to the specific dimensions of the far wall of the gallery, 10 x 13 feet, three blown glass sculptures mounted to the walls of the gallery, and an armchair.  The blown glass sculptures are abstract, organic, forms encrusted with glass nipples moulded from my own, and inlayed with mirror.  Similarly, the repeated circular marks drawn in the performance are representative of nipples.

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Trap, sculptural performance

Katherine Rutecki

Trap, 2016-2017

Sculptural Performance, twined steel

 

Performance Document no. 1-8, 2016

Inkjet prints on paper, each 22 x 30 inch

Photographic documentation by Jamie Sheffer

 

Trap Remnant, 2016-2017

Twined steel, brazed

 

 

 “Trap” is a metaphor in process.

I built a trap for myself from pencil gauge steel, hand twined like a willow or reed basket, but made specifically to my proportions.

I began with the trap opening, an inverted funnel, counting the weft to create the diameter to insert my shoulders.

The weaving was done cold with modest hand tools, fencing pliers and gripping pliers, my hands ached such that I had to rest them for a day or so every time I spent afternoons weaving.

I performed the trap by sliding into it through the tunnel entrance. The sheared ends of the warp steel bruised and scraped my body.

I curled up inside and felt the sun on my face and a moment of solitude

Fear of being inside overtook the solitude and I had to make actions to evacuate.

I assessed my escape.

I eased out, rolling the trap back on its side and pulling myself out, head first.

The performance action was exhausting.

I crushed the trap with my body weight and brazed together all of the connections,  simultaneously connecting and gilding each.  

The trap cannot be used again and cannot be re-formed.

Masterworks Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

Bright Masses - Katherine Rutecki
5 - 24 July 2016
preview Wednesday 6th July from 5.30pm


Bright Masses will be an exciting opportunity to see the latest developments in the art practice of Katherine Rutecki. Katherine is currently back on summer break from her postgraduate studies at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois, USA, where Katherine is an MFA candidate in Glass. 

Originally from New York, Katherine Rutecki attained a BFA in Sculpture from Alfred University, New York College of Ceramics. Birds have provided the visual vocabulary for Katherine's sculptures from the beginning. Working predominantly in glass Katherine is interested in how the translucency and luminosity of glass can enhance her exploration into human emotions. In Katherine's previous work birds act as metaphors for the human experience. The at times frantic, often dark and even violent energy of earlier compositions has over time been transformed into more intimate and enveloping forms that evoke a greater sense of calm. For this latest series Katherine has put her bird vernacular aside for more organic forms that more closely reference the body.
 
‘These forms with life castings of my own nipples represent the private moments of motherhood and the duality of the mother as both sexual being and nurturer of children. Motherhood is comprised of private moments and affected by the public sphere. My work is a celebration of everyday life as a mother, parenting is repetitive and gross, beautiful and a constant source of amazement. The dividing forms represent a division of self, the division of a mother’s life before and after babies and the struggle to retain self‐identity throughout; also physically, the division of child from mother’s body and post birth attachment. The forms swell and grow out of the wall, they absorb light and colour shift throughout the day, and even seem awake at night, like icons they cast a benevolence in to the room.’ - Katherine Rutecki 2016.

Please join us and Katherine to celebrate the first showing of her latest work and her wintery 'Summer break' in Aotearoa.


 

Upcoming show

I have a show coming up next month at Masterworks Gallery in Auckland, NZ.  Photographer Richard Duran came in to the glassblowing studio on Friday and took photos of us working.

rutecki_glassblowing.jpg

Love light

A photography student, Andrew Calise, and I played around in the photography studio with big box lights, layering my ink drawings.

Academic year end

The first year is over! I am currently an MFA candidate in Glass at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale working under Professor Jiyong Lee.  This has been a year of changes and challenges, one of which has been to develop new work outside of the bird narrative that has become my vernacular over the past ten years.  My intent is not to dismiss birds from my work but rather to expand my voice; I have several ongoing projects with the birds that are large endeavors and are still on the cards.

The first semester was spent in one week projects, my colleague, Kit Paulson, and I made a work every week to critique with class; an intense period of time with failures and successes, learning about myself as an artist, how I process thought, and abilities to produce work in a short amount of time.  A work significant to me from this period of one week projects is Torso, a self-portrait comprised of layers of buff tracing paper, resembling skin tissue.  A self-associative symbol, body part, or an object that is a personal representation of time or place, is drawn on each layer using graphite and ink and including some interjections by my four-year-old daughter.  Originally this drawing was displayed sandwiched between two panes of glass, like a slide frame, and hung from the ceiling, but will be reworked as a light box. 

A month into the second semester we had our first year review for which I presented a blown glass work entitled ‘To Feed You’ an ode to motherhood, a milk jug encrusted with glass nipples.  This was a turning point which lead me to the work I am currently making.  I began drawing with fervor, using the same scrolls of buff, skin-like paper that I used in my torso self-portrait but in dense, dripping sumi ink.  I’ve created my own language again with intense repetitive nipples, each drawing is a story, a narrative in form.  From this self-study through drawing I have been developing sculptures in both blown glass assemblages and kiln cast forms.

 

These forms with life castings of my own nipples represent the private moments of motherhood and the duality of the mother as both sexual being and nurturer of children. Motherhood is comprised of private moments and effected by the public sphere. My work is a celebration of everyday life as a mother, parenting is repetitive and gross, beautiful and a constant source of amazement.  The dividing forms represent a division of self, the division of a mother’s life before and after babies and the struggle to retain self-identity throughout; also physically, the division of child from mother’s body and post birth attachment.  The forms swell and grow out of the wall, they absorb light and color shift throughout the day, and even seem awake at night, like icons they cast a benevolence in to the room. 

 

I’ve begun using my home as a sort of installation space, observing them throughout the day, how they effect and are effected by their environment.  Major changes in my life have had me reflecting too on home. A woman, a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, that I met recently said something important to me, that the main role of a parent is to be home to your child.  Home in a family, home in a partner, home in friendship, home in oneself. 

Selected works