Ritual Ceremony Seclusion a solo exhibition by Portland, OR based artist Katie Steinberg features small scale sculptures, paintings, and photographs. The exhibition will be on view in the Jewel gallery April 13- June 1, 2019 opening with a members’ preview and opening reception on Friday, April 12, 2019.
Artist Statement: Miniatures simultaneously enable and deny access. They allude to themes of fantasy, nostalgia, labor, leisure, and the absurd. I create small-scale sculptures that reference craft cultures like model-train enthusiasts. The landscapes that I construct draw from reality and the impact of our surrounding, ever-changing environments. I am interested in the contemporary relationship between humans, technology, and the natural world. Our increasing dependency on technology allows for a connection with the world at large, while fostering a greater disconnect with our neighbor and ecosystem. Capitalism, industrialization, and the rise of virtual platforms place an emphasis on the acceleration of labor and time. To counter this cultural demand of speed, I have chosen a slow, meticulous process of making that results in works that appear marooned in time. Miniatures and other crafts can offer refuge from the digital age. This collection of small works has lead me to research craft as a coping mechanism. In her book, Depression: A Public Feeling, Ann Cvetkovich addresses anxiety and political despair as a cultural inheritance that potentially can be treated with daily activities and somatic therapies such as crafting or “the utopia of everyday habit.” The repetition imbedded in the process of craft allows for a productivity that keeps the hands active while allowing the mind to rest. It calls for an attention to the present. It is through sculpture, photography, and painting that I manipulate space and decontextualize environments so that they may be viewed anew. Qualities of vastness, isolation, and even loneliness permeate the work, leaving one to question what is present and what is absent. As Lynda Barry states, “We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.”