In this Close Look, we are forgoing our usual format of publishing installation images of shows throughout the South as most institutions have now transitioned to online viewings in response to COVID-19 closures. We are instead publishing a Close Look at artists’ home studios as we all retreat inwards and inside.
Hashtags, Vines, and captions from social media have made their way into the work of Catherine Clements through hand lettering and watermarks embedded into handmade paper. Entrusted with digitizing and dispersing her family’s extensive archive of photos, she combs through them for pictures of the landscape she grew up in. Catherine’s gardening, canning, and homesteading continue on alongside the family photos which appear in most of the work. As a paper making, book, and print artist, she reconciles the relationship of the digital feed to the physical book. The feed does not allow you to revisit particular moments, whereas within a book you develop a sense memory of the physical placement of things, and once you locate something physically it becomes easier to reference. But a feed is meant to be consumed and not so much referenced. In ancient vines i watch with my grandfather the 100 bound pages of text and imagery mimic both a book and a feed as the eyes scroll through the work.
I think a lot about sign painting and the rural sensibilities of that. Advertisements on barns are really common where I’m from. My dad was a carpenter and contractor for most of my life so he had a hand painted sign that he would put out in front of jobs. So that aesthetic is something that has always been really interesting to me and reminded me of home and identity.