November 28, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Vernissage: Tuesday November 28, 2017, 6 – 8 p.m.
The Ottawa School of Art is proud to present the work of Diploma Student:
Kathryn A. Ehret
The Ottawa School of Art presents new works by Diploma Student Kathryn A. Ehret. Kathryn is an Ottawa based artist currently in her third and final year of the Fine Arts Diploma program at the Ottawa School of Art. In 2016 Kathryn received the Lillian Raport Memorial Fund Scholarship and in 2017 she was the recipient of the Ottawa Art Association Fine Arts Scholarship as well as the Leonard Gerbrandt Printmaking Scholarship. Kathryn has exhibited her work in Ontario and Québec.
Kathryn’s work focuses on mixed medium, abstract imagery, and is largely influenced by the results of material experimentation and the interaction of different media. This body of strong and engaging work entitled “Worry Strings” is a visual and perceptual response to Kathryn’s explorations and reflections on the subject of mood disorder and mental illness. It also successfully provides a narrative, and offers an opportunity to engage in dialogue on a topic that touches many of us.
“…to translate my experiences into a sort of visual language, in hopes of better understanding myself, and to help others find a way to talk to themselves or others about what they are feeling.” – Kathryn Ehret, Artist
Kathryn is currently in her final year of the Diploma Program at the Ottawa School of Art. During her few years of study she has cultivated an appreciation for both gestural drawing and the use of large format. Employing these devices together, the larger format allows for the whole body to be engaged in the process. Her work is also driven by a strong interest in materiality, as well as using unconventional objects or textiles as tools for drawing or mark-making. Her general practice is largely influenced by the results of material experimentation and the interaction of different media.
Charcoal is a recurring material throughout the work, chosen for its versatile quality. It comes in many forms, though for the most part it is just as easily obscured or erased as it is applied. This idea of the medium’s potential impermanence is something that resonates with her process, as well as the emotional aspects she addresses through her work.
In the past year, Kathryn has earned scholarships for painting and printmaking, and has shown her work in group exhibitions at the Lee Matasi Gallery and La Fab Centre des arts in Chelsea, QC.
For those struggling with low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, life can feel very isolating. Fear that others will not understand or that their feelings are invalid, or the inability to express oneself through language are all reasons for experiencing alienation. How these mood disorders manifests vary from one person to another, and so the way in which one presents themselves may not always give a clue to how they feel. Severely negative emotional states can also be punctuated with feelings of dissociation or an inability to feel “present” in the body – or this feeling may be a constant state for some. In contrast, periods of intense euphoria may flag that there are internal conflicts not visible on the surface. In this body of work I reflect on some of these states of mind that are debilitating and often difficult to comprehend, not only for the uninitiated, but for those experiencing it firsthand.
My images provide a limited range of perspectives coming from personal experience dealing with self-destructive thought patterns. These thoughts have a tendency to blur and coalesce, sometimes to the point of incoherence, and it is challenging to tease them apart. While developing this work, the focus was directed by how these mind states feel in relationship to the body. I reflect on this through scale and material, using pattern to indicate internal dialogue. In the case of the sum of two negatives, I deviated from expressing a singular perspective to explore the concept of mutual solace in a relationship where both parties have a history of mental illness. The method remains the same: to translate my experiences into a sort of visual language, in hopes of better understanding myself, and to help others find a way to talk to themselves or others about what they are feeling.
Ottawa School of Art, Diploma Program, 2018
2017 Ottawa Art Association Fine Arts Scholarship
2017 Leonard Gerbrandt Printmaking Scholarship
2016 Lillian Raport Memorial Fund Scholarship
2017 Untitled, Solo Exhibition, Lorraine Fritzi Yale Gallery, Ottawa, ON.
2017 Leonard Gerbrandt Scholarship Show, La Fab Centre Des Arts, Chelsea, QC.
2016 Intermediate Painting, Lee Matasi Gallery, Ottawa, ON.
2016 Life-size Figure Drawing, Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, ON.
SEPT – NOV 2016 Herd, works by Diana Thorneycroft, exhibition installation and dismantle, OSAO Campus Gallery, Shenkman Arts Centre, Orleans, ON.