Katherine Craymer

Artist Statement

My art is concerned with the way human beings adapt to situations and a questioning of identity. Through costuming and a variety of theatrical approaches to making, I elevate expectations and social pressures to a place where they become absurd and otherworldly. By stripping away the influence of others I am questioning how much of an identity is left underneath.

I enjoy a variety of media to express my thoughts. Layering different media serves as a shell or a skin of which deceives and disguises. An example of this is the use of the mask in my work. Masks allow me to become any role I wish while still protecting my true form. Each costume or set I create refers to behaviors that children learn are expected of them. Often I will use materials that have a childlike, unpolished feeling, this helps me describe my thoughts in a playful depiction. It is important for me to play out each character, for it allows me to enter their individual mindsets. I feel a strong sense of sensitivity and empathy with each one. This in turn allows me to have an extreme bond with each piece, and makes each character come alive.

Much of my visual imagery refers back to my struggle retaining information in the early years of my schooling. In order to help my studies I went to a programme that used experimental methods to cure my dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD.  I use this imagery in my work because it is the most prevalent time that I was told the way I was thinking needed to be fixed. Another reasoning for my work is the move I made when I was ten from England to America. I was so scared of being viewed by my friends in England as a changed person that I tried to maintain a ten year old’s mentality and innocence for many years. This is a choice I regret because I was stuck as a child at a time where development of self is most important. While my peers continued to mature I felt I needed to stay the same in order to avoid judgment and rejection. By combining these two experiences together I am able to create pieces that utilize imagery from my schooling programme and emotion from a time where I was afraid to develop myself as an individual. By exaggerating social pressures I am able to create a world full of characters and beings that are overbearing and eccentric. By showing how absurd prepositions are, I hope that people will split apart from the unachievable task of pleasing everyone and hold dear to the quirks that make them feel complete.