Kate Berry Brown: Wood, Paper, Paint: Gallery Two
Kate Berry Brown was born in 1978 and grew up just outside of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, where she lives with her husband and three children.
Brown attended Washington University Art School, where she earned her BFA in fashion design. A few years later, her curiosity led her to the Netherlands, where she spent six months getting a master’s degree in floral design at Boerma Instituut. While there, she and her bulldog lived in a trailer she rented from a dairy farmer.
Years later, married, living in Las Vegas and pregnant with her first child, Brown settled back into the fine art of painting. Over the years, through the move back to the Midwest and two more kids, drawing replaced painting out of both practicality as well as a deep love for immediate and meditative mark-making.
Brown’s current body of work consists of meticulously carved wood and paper sculptures, which evolved from abstract ink drawings on cut paper and the desire to give them dimensionality. The artist's woodworking journey began three and a half years ago on a tiny island off the coast of Massachusetts called Cuttyhunk, where she moved for several months to escape the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My wood and paper wall sculptures are tokens of fragility and strength, symbols of impermanent but infinite beauty,” says the artist. “I sketch out shapes and loose ideas in my sketchbook, on napkins, on brochures. But I only use my sketch as a guide, because once I cut the wood, the piece takes on a world of its own. I sand, I cut, I glue, and repeat, making changes as I go. I let the design go where it wants, where it feels right. And most importantly I edit ruthlessly, reducing all excess so that no lines, cuts, or marks are extraneous. Often, I find myself surprised by how each piece turns out. Tumbled and sculpted, sort of like a gift from the sea.”
Click here to visit the online viewing room for this show and learn more about the works exhibited.