Katherine Sullivan West Midlands, United Kingdom
I am a sculptor whose work investigates identity and the way we portray this in the world through the forms of our clothing and our architecture. Both are seen as metaphors for the body and for human experience. I have been investigating this relationship for 20 years. I work mainly for exhibition or in residency and have a studio in my local town of Stourbridge, in the West Midlands.
During my investigation into the clothing/architecture link, i discovered that the great architects of modernism recognized this connection and in 1883 Gottfried Semper stated that a building was 'worn' and not occupied. His understanding of body and clothes, structure and ornament as one underpins the perceptual framework for my work. My experience as a costume maker and my subsequent translation of textile processes into sculptural elements within my work, place me in an excellent position to investigate this relationship. I often experiment with building and engineering materials whilst employing techniques found in the textile industry in order to create sculptural fabrics of my own. It is my aim to lift the decorative elements from clothing and buildings and turn them into structural elements within my work. I initiate residencies in heritage sites in order to scrutinize this 'mask' or 'membrane' which stands upon the margin between public and private space. Metal is my chosen material but i have also developed ways of casting with PVA, using multiples such as shoes and collars and incorporating found objects into the work. I agree with Anne Hollander when she says " Clothing might be thought to claim the more serious attention given to architecture if its materials had more permanence and the size of its examples had more command over the eye."