Katie Watson

Artist Statement

My life has been a blur of color and communities. There is the California coast with salty air and muted pastels; the people there are always different, as if randomly generated and let loose by the sea, popping in and out of existence. There is my small Michigan school, snow layered on snow, red-orange leaves haloing the trees; people there are always the same. My life is 4-dimensional, extending back to my first memories and encompassing all of the occurrences in between. Experience has the permanence that space does not.

Memory feels as if it is sliced into smaller moments, some pieces discarded while others cherished. My work centers on remembrance. In particular, I am interested in trying to represent the intangibility and unreliability of memory over time. When I recall a past experience, it is as if a video is collapsing in on itself; I often explore these ideas through the depiction of overlapping figures. Other moments are more ephemeral, similar to the colors that flicker within one’s peripheral vision.

I may recall only one detail of a scene, but the rest is a blur. Or perhaps the image is crisp, yet the context, the hour preceding or following, completely escapes me. These are the aspects of remembrance that I’m trying to explore in my work. How do I replicate a memory if my human brain only remembers it halfway?

I focus on personal ‘slice of life’ moments. They are experiences neither happy nor sad, but instead relay a sense of neutrality and content. They are times easily forgotten, insubstantial. By documenting and interpreting these memories, I am hoping to preserve and protect them for the future. By creating this work, I allow the viewer to peer into my life through my eyes. I hope that my audience will question what quiet moments they overlook in their own day-to-day experiences.