Katie Vota  Sculpture & Installation Artist

Statement

My work carves out space for queer opulence and visibility in a world where difference is under attack. This space takes the form of physical barriers begging to be crossed, decorative objects made from everyday materials re-combined, and performance-based workshops for creating physical objects of resistance, as well as the teaching of mundane skills like mending or sewing that allow for self-reliance and creative expression.

My ideas on making begin with the textile—both in the creation of sculpture and the creation of myself—as cloth’s ubiquity allows for understanding across experience, class, place and disparate peoples. By adapting traditional textile techniques and tools to non-traditional and repurposed materials, such as dead bike tubes or unwanted t-shirts, I refigure the way I view what is desirable. I use these cast-off materials as if they’re chameleons, transforming them to bring out their sensual qualities and adapting them to create permeable spaces for queer bodies—a literal queering of materials.

Since I began the project of helping others use clothing as a means of radical self-expression, I have looked more closely at the pluralities of my own queerness and gender, and the ways these things come through in my work. I find myself thinking about repurposing as means of Queer feminist survival. I find myself utilizing craft as a means of finding focus, purpose, and calm, to allay the stress and dread caused by the polarizing social and political situation we find ourselves in, and to help others find moments of power in small objects and actions. In working this way, my imaginative re-use allows me to build spaces and objects for belonging. I strive to re-imagine the world around me, working to find extravagant solutions for everyday problems, all the while working to gather community and mount a visual resistance.