Hidden- Guilford College Senior Art Thesis, 2017

Artist Statement:


Dreams, memories, the sacred—they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous. Everything, really, has this quality of sacredness . . .

—Yukio Mishima

I am what I put into this world. If art grants me the ability to spread ideas, beauty, and vision, how can I deny it? Relief printmaking is a medium I fell into only recently, but I can think of no other form of communication that is more meaningful to me. The act of carving, inking, and printing linoleum requires discipline, strength, thought, care—all I could ever wish to portray through my work.

I view objects as a means of remembrance. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a redundant idea, but I would argue that everything is in the eye of the beholder. The simplicity of a flower in a field becomes complex when we consider the competing roles it plays in different people’s lives: a token of affection, the audience to bad news, the background to an indifferent jogger. In this collection of prints and projected animations, I am linking objects to my experiences in the past year to show that people attach their intangible memories to the tangible world.

My piece Internet Research on How to Befriend Crows Not Playing Out as Fast as I Thought features a linocut print of scattered almonds. While carving this image, I pictured the crows in my backyard, staring at my offering of almonds but never eating them. The memory looped in my mind each time I traced the almond shapes with my blade, each time a long strand of linoleum fell to the ground. I took this sensation of looping memory and superimposed it over my almond print through projected animation. The fluidity of animated drawings holds a quality very similar to how a memory plays in my mind. Transformative shapes seep out of the almond print like brainwaves and briefly mold into a memory before melting back into nothingness. I visually allow the viewer a glimpse into my memory with the prints I have animated. The titles of my work directs viewers to see what I see in each object, but before doing so I invite them to impose their own memories on the commonplace objects I have depicted. What is hidden to me may be prominent to another.

—Kate Mitchell


Linocut prints:

Accompanied animations: