reclaimed wood, monofilament, hand-screenprinted
cattle identification tags, weathered screws and nails, straw, artist's clothing, artist's
childhood book titled
Cowboys, Indians, Eskimos
80” x 48” x 53
© Copyright 2013 Kathryn Cellerini Moore
As an artist-in-residence with Salem Art Association I proposed and created a mixed-media sculptural installation titled Some Cow. The work is a loving homage to cattle-human companionship. Families across the world depend upon these creatures, as did my own family. Some Cow (State 1) recognizes cattle farming as an important economic engine for families in Oregon and was rendered in the spirit of my childhood memories and the book Charlotte’s Web. While I meet a lot of folks in my region who seem committed to and concerned about how their food and goods are treated when still breathing, I feel as a country we have progress to make. Perhaps like young girl Fern and author EB White I question industrialized slaughter practices and unethical treatment of animals for the sake of the lowest dollar. Where along the evolution of American industrialized agriculture practices did we lose perspective and appreciation for all that cattle give back? To negotiate the political and anecdotal in a sensitive manner is a delicate challenge that I want to achieve with visual beauty.
Some Cow encapsulates procedural and conceptual undertones. With the exception of the ear tags, all of the materials used to create the sculpture were found within 20 miles of my house, whether barn wood from salvage businesses or reclaimed onion crates from my onion-farming neighbor. The stuffed cow was hand-made using my own clothing, and the book displayed near the cow was mine as a child, saved by my Mom, called “Cowboys, Indians, and Eskimos,” published in the 1950’s. Each cattle ear-tag was hand-silkscreened with adjectives and verbs specifically designed to illustrate cattle personality traits I have observed both near my house and at the Oregon State University Dairy Facility over the last year. The monofilament used to suspend the ear tags is in direct reference to Charlotte the Spider.