About Kathryn Shriver


The aspect of art making that I find to be the most empowering and alluring is the translation of the intangible into some physical semblance. Bringing complex mental concerns, abstract ideas, and elusive emotions into the same physical realm in which we all exist allows for constructive analysis and more objective understanding of thoughts and feelings. Controlling this transformation of the impalpable to the real motivates me to make art. Given physical form, these ideas and emotions can be harvested for meaning and relevance without sacrificing the beauty, subtlety, complexity or chaos that makes them personal and compelling.

Since I ultimately deal with personal and ineffable subjects, my media choices are important; they serve the need for realization and communications. In order to allow automatic choices and emotional honesty and authenticity to be translated into physical form, I use materials that can be quickly, directly, and completely controlled by my hand. I also am increasingly drawn to media that can be easily objectified, thus increasing the directness of confrontation with the elusive ideas the physical aims to organize.

My desire to bring products of my unconscious, affective and intellectual existence into the same plane as my physical being relates directly to the unifying theme in my work - my impulse to gather chaos and put it into order. Without ordering, my love of complexity, futility, ambiguity, intricacy, and the revealing mysteries of both automatic and meditative thought and action would be overwhelming and largely unconstructive. By translating mental, imaginative, and emotional chaos into a confrontational entity, I can place it within the context of artistic principles, other works, existing structures, and my own life and knowledge. At the very least, isolating this chaos within blank space on a sheet of paper, or within a measurable and definitive amount of space provides an opportunity for further organization, confrontation, and development in order to arrive at meanings or solutions, or at least acceptance. In this way, my artwork is a mode of coaxing meaning out of beautifully convoluted and dense raw matter. I truly believe that seemingly trivial details, ornament, and subtleties can be harvested for significance if they are used with authenticity and personal desire. This is the premise under which I make things.
Kathryn Shriver joined Society6 on August 29, 2011. Verified on March 11, 2017.