For interdisciplinary artist Kathryn Cellerini Moore, art making is the active process of searching for visual moments that express our passive connection and active engagement with human beings, nonhuman relatives, and nonliving materials. Since it can be seemingly impossible to imagine just how interconnected we are to the visible and micro-visible life forms around us, Moore’s art offers a starting point from which to examine how we each play a role (willingly or not) in environmental, biological, and cultural ecosystems. Blending her interests of science and art, Moore plays with light, shadow, color and space to create abstractions of the natural world. In a political climate that aims to divide us from one another and our natural treasures, Moore feels urgency to create quiet moments for people to reflect on our interconnectedness to one another and our environment.
Kathryn Cellerini Moore's artwork was curated into the Month of Performance Art in Berlin, Germany, the Does Live Art Have to Be Experienced Live? performance art series at SOIL Gallery in Seattle, WA, and the experimental performance event Collective Becoming: Expressions of Love, Freedom and Resistance at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Her work was exhibited in venues including The Art and History Museum in Maitland, FL; Duplex Gallery in Portland, OR; The Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, OR; The McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, OH; The Center of Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Seattle, WA; Hunter College Times Square Gallery in NY, NY; and Besse Gallery at Bay College, Escanaba, MI. Moore presented her research at the first Mokuhanga Conference in Kyoto and Awaji, Japan, and was recently an artist-in-residence at PLAYA Summer Lake, TEDx, and Djerassi Artist Residency Program. In 2020, Moore will join the Oregon Art Commission’s Art in Public Places artist roster.
I question what intelligent life actually means, in context of humanity's search for life on other planets, to the questionable actions of humans (the self-described apex intelligence) that require reparations on this planet. How can art effectively increase our awareness and understanding of the natural world we inhabit so that we might become better stewards of and within it?
To that end, I am a space maker. Installation and art in public places in particular, are a collaboration with buildings, landscapes, and the people who encounter the work in the spaces. I approach sites with curiosity: I identify who is present (human and nonhuman), examine ecosystems that are in place, and consider who will be impacted by making art within that place. For example, Healing Properties was a pop-up installation in a historic church in Milwaukie, OR. I approached the space by thinking about what a chapel historically represents. Why did people go into the chapel? How do people interact with that chapel today? How does the cultural significance of a spiritual place lend itself, or respond to, the art it becomes the nest for? Answers to these questions determine the direction of the art.
I use information gathered from literary sources, scientific texts, photo-video references, and site visits to guide how I manipulate, test, and rework materials until I find visual solutions that seem the most promising and surprising. Because I am an intuitive maker working through many iterations, this visual inquiry can last for years and result in a body of interdisciplinary works. I think in this way, artists and scientists do the same kind of work: we’re searching for the most succinct, elegant and accurate solutions that bring form to abstract thought.