by Kate Tupper

Main Gallery
April 28
- May 22, 2022

Dynamis, Artist Statement by Kate Tupper

Kinetic, sensory down-regulating sculptures create psychic sanctuaries. A series of mild steel;
invented mythological power objects inviting activation through physical interaction.
Formed, fitted, welded, hand painted devices. Kinetic and interactive, composed of mild steel,
accentuated with mechanics, resins, liquids, sound, and light; a collection of Enchanted 3 D
botanics. Hybrid, cocooned, mysteries. Ethereal obscurities, crustal, barnacle, matrix
technologies. Fantastical dreamy components; devices of sci fi myth. I utilize sculpture for
modern day storytelling as mythology through history helped humans make sense of their
world , I strive to do the same for ours. Several years ago I had a vision and developed a new
personal style that had the potential to hold the information I was assembling. Hoping the work
would become devices of connection within our place, each other, and ourselves. Imagery can
be utilized creating objects that help keep humanity grounded while evolving quickly into a
world of technology.

In many stories an enchanted object is linked to transformation, healing, opening, and
connection, and often the true power of the object was inside the protagonist all along.
Sometimes we just need something tangible to remind us. By building objects that reflect the
visual patterns I study. I continue to investigate what it takes to unite our community locally
and globally through the creation of a common consciousness a mechanical solidarity through
mutual likeness.

I use organic visual elements in an attempt to connect us to the earth, to keep the work
grounded and relevant. These details are what I usually consider to be the tangible part of the
sculpture the real touchable. I take cues from anything in my world who’s forms fits the story,
the feeling I am attempting to tell. The landscape and lifestyles of flora and the geography
surrounding us, absorbing their visual information and converting it into fractal geometry based
patterns. Wound with symbolism new and old. There’s an under written code in natter. Waves
in spirals. A drama to the physical attributes of plants; branches branching, colour to call
attention. So often a contradiction of soft pedals and thorny protection my stories are balanced
similarly with the dark and the light, tarnished silver, dark romance. Minerals like geography are
naturally occurring sculptures and a fascinating catalogue of geometric visuals. Organic bling.
Geometric elements are a nod to technology. Balls of weld represent energy. Wire work
suggests relationships within the sculpture such as its systems. It can also represent links to
the metaphysical a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses.
Technically with this body of work I hoped to explore and to further understand the intricacies
of sheet metal. I have questions that I have seen rendered in paper. I continue to be inspired by
and regularly relate back to the 1940 book, The Geometry of Sheet metal work by Alfred
Dickason. Researching and looking at online paper folding sparks solutions for design
challenges. Taking a two dimensional object like sheet metal and convincing it to take a three
dimensional form via bends is really interesting, and in folding it accordion style, it gains
strength. By crossing bends diagonally, you can start to change directions. Strategically
placed, these allow the sculptures to take on complex geometric shapes. Utilizing my brake
and exploring the parameters of my new planishing hammer. I have only touched on the
surface of where I could take this style.

I have a strong understanding of steel, and a considerable understanding of several other
mediums. Sewing and crafting are favourites hobbies from childhood on. I find it fascinating to
apply some of the processes and personality of my steel sculpture. Exploring different media
accentuates the work I already do with mild steel, creating ‘whole objects’ from start to finish. I
find the more I explore the better I get at design and implementation. Often an insight from one
medium will spark a solution on another project front. I love steel for its strength and potential
for delicacy, I think combining it with different mediums like resin and light removes limits on
what kinds of stories I can tell


About the Artist

Kate Tupper is a Nakusp-born and based sculpture artist. After graduating the ‘C’ level
welding program in 2004, the following years working in trades and heavy construction
have given Kate a firsthand view of traditional uses of materials. A lifelong love of craft,
nature, and ecology influence her method, texture, and composition. Sculpture and
storytelling have always come easily to Kate, and her earliest memories are of making
things. Growing up beside forest and orchards, on the beach and in the garden, her
studios revolved as they do, depending on weather and season. Kate spends her
summers as lead to Shambhala Music Festival site’s Art team, designing, facilitating,
and mentoring large scale multi-media installations. She finds that the juxtaposition of
leading a large team in a fast-paced environment and the often solitary process of
building sculpture the rest of the year offers a healthy variety of design and execution
in two very different situations. In 2017, Kate’s project Heavenly Bodies, a large steel
and illuminated resin planetarium, premiered at Revelstoke’s Luna Public Arts festival.
It carried on the following year, 2018, to show at Calgary’s Beakerhead as well as Nuit
Blanche Winnipeg. Multiple wins and leases through several years of competition at
Castlegar Sculpturewalk were building blocks, and in 2017 Kate was recognized by
Canada Council as a professional artist in Canada. Public art has been a focus for
several years, but recently Kate has focussed on smaller, more intricate pieces with a
new body of work, Dynamis.

See more of Kate’s Work

Other sculptures by Kate Tupper you can visit in the Kootenay’s if you’re on tour…

  • Nakusp waterfront: ‘Modern Wingback’
  • Nakusp main street: ‘Moments later’
  • Nakusp 212, 4th ave: ‘Becoming the Garden’
  • Highway 23 on the M.V. Columbia: ‘Looking Aft’
  • Nelson visitors centre 2022: ‘Carbon Key’
  • Kaslo Logger sports park: ‘Logger Prayer Wheel’
  • Shambhala Music festival:
    • ‘The Thunder Cone’ wedding chapel,
    • ‘Our Tree’ at the Grove entrance
    • ‘Cloud Gate’ at the main entrance

Open studios happen periodically so check in on facebook @Kate Tupper studio or
instagram @spark_tart


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