The Artists

Katey Rissi

Fiber art and illustration

katey.rissi@gmail.com
www.kateyrissi.com
Instagram: @kateyrissi

I am an artist, educator, medicine maker, and activist. I am engaged in relationship with plants, the place I live, and the people around me. My work is centered around these relationships. My artmaking practice is interdisciplinary, and I shift between printmaking, illustration, collage, natural sculpture, textiles, and photography. I hold a BFA in Graphic Design from Western Michigan University with a concentration in Photography and Printmaking.

 I have always been deeply interested in processes, especially alchemical ones, where this plus that creates something new altogether. Analog photography, printmaking, botanical dyeing, and herbal medicine all are transformative in nature. I am moved by the mysteries of chemistry, in variables, in treading the line between precise formulations and intentional imprecision yielding unexpected outcomes. Many of the mediums I work in have origins as very precise, scientific, or practical techniques. Working with techniques and processes that were not originally conceived as art mediums is a meditation on what it means to repurpose something, as well as what it means to do something “correctly.” Working with these sorts of mediums with an orientation that is experimental and intuitive creates a tension I find rich, deep, and complex. This tension speaks to the ways we value certain types of knowledge over others, and the ways we see expertise and mastery in very binary ways.

 Thematically, my work is for and about the Anthropocene – the epoch we are currently in, defined by human impact on the Earth. I use process-based mediums to explore environmental grief. This work is relational – a practice for deepening my own relationship with plants and place, and a way to investigate how we as a people hold these relationships at large. My work explores the complexity and contrast of ecological systems interacting with the built environment, the ways we hold memory, the complexity and tension in how we document, categorize, and define the natural world as our actions destroy it.

 Cyanotype, also known as sunprinting, is a way for me to engage with the cycles and rhythms of the year. Cyanotypes are exposed in the sun, and expose slower than silver photography. This makes room for much in the way of experimentation – moving things as the images expose, exposing for a full day and night, exposing in the weak sun of the winter and the strong sun of the summer. The blue hues that this process creates is a limiting factor that I adore. Much of my work is infused with this blue, and I find myself making aesthetic choices in response to the color, as well as thematic choices in response to the process.

Katey Rissi
Katey Rissi
Katey Rissi