Browsing Research and Scholarship by Author "Alley, Kathryn"
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ItemHabitation(2021-05-08) Alley, Kathryn; McCarthy, Lydia; McMahon, Stephanie; To, AngieI enter into resonance with the world around me and the worlds that I construct through painting and photography. My photographs capture the exterior space I exist in presently while my paintings depict interior spaces that I wish to exist in. I capture romanticized landscapes and build safe domestic homes. While some environments are sweet and others are melancholic, there is an underlying tension. Working between intimate and expansive scales, I represent the mundane through my desire to transcend it. My photographs both document and abstract the spaces and time that I exist in. My subject matter is elemental and formal. I begin by choosing a location. I gravitate towards the idealized American landscapes of western New York. I follow my intuition and capture patterns in tree branches, movement in water, repetition in foliage, and light in natural beams. The acts of wandering and observing are the focus of my practice. Through these scenes of loneliness, quietness, and subtleness, I contend with my own longing and restlessness. My paintings are an investigation of constructed spaces that use the housecat as a motif. Using photo references, I build a space for these cats to exist in – whether it be a cozy bedroom or a scenic window-still. I use color to communicate light and mood which results in vibrant, saturated compositions. Though exaggerated, these spaces are comfortable, intimate, and familiar. The cat represents independence, ease, and solitude. Each cat has its own personality and acts as a stand-in for human emotion. By creating a narrative for each space, I communicate my own obsession and admiration for cats and reaffirm their cliché presence in contemporary culture. The act of painting also serves as an escape as I am able to create the relaxing and safe spaces I long for.