With my artistic voice and passionate exploration of Mother Earth’s many splendors, I strive to inspire humankind to explore the Earth and themselves through my original work. Explore the woods with me, drink in the petrichor, ground yourself on the mycelium rich soil, and embrace the energies within and around you. Please explore my works below and throughout the site.
All photographs by Katherine Watts, unless otherwise specified
Environmental artist, Katherine Watts, rarely focuses on one medium in particular. Employing various techniques, such as relief mono-printing, digitally manipulated photography, and three-dimensional found object sculpture, the overarching intention is to question and bring awareness to the relationship between the Earth and the human race. Thus, the viewer's introspective questioning and outward exploration of this relationship can ensue by way of this work.
Watts' most recent series incorporates scavenged Ohio River bank refuse, which is then recycled into this work. While there is an innate, accompanied romanticism and beauty associated with these thoughtfully chosen discoveries, there is also a sense of urgency and awakening associated with them. A human response and awareness concerning the realities of pollution, our specie's impact on the Earth, and the resulting global warming is both vital and necessary. Instead of simply presenting such seemingly impossible realities, the implied Derridean approach to their practically irreducible complexity and instability might be better served by deconstructing these actualities; to attempt to discover the meanings within them; and, then, to re-create something with its own re-found meaning. Watts' intention is to accomplish this, while retaining the sources of the conflicted relationship of abiding beauty and irreparable pollution. This most recent series, Mooring Line Deconstruction, bears witness to that inherent conflict.
Mycology and mycoremediation are recurring influences on many different research endeavors that regularly appear throughout this series. For example, an immersive micro-landscape or research-based spore print stemmed from the observation of a diverse habitat of numerous mushrooms during collection outings on the Ohio River. Some mushrooms have the ability to filter out toxic waste that humans have inflicted upon the environment. One of these mushrooms is the Pestalotiopsis microspora, which consumes polyurethane and converts it into organic matter; another is the Aspergillus tubingensis, which has the ability to break down the bonds between plastic molecules in a matter of weeks. Fungi can also feed on various other toxic substances, such as oil spills, radioactive waste, and certain types of nerve gases. Such possibilities are as intriguing as are the seemingly hopeless dynamics between humans, our own involvement and awareness levels, and our impact on the biosphere within which we live. This work is an attempt to convey and converse with the still open possibilities between the Earth's biosphere and humanity.
The venture, engagement, and involvement of plant-community and human-community still seems plausible. The continuation of retrieving materials from various river banks and lake shores---while searching for diverse species of mushrooms, and incorporating human involvement and encouraged introspection---is the process of this series. Documentation will play a key role in this process.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."