Kate Rohde- Liking this artist. A lot.
My recent sculptures and installations utilise an extensive range of craft and hardware materials, including silicone, expanding foam, fake fur, polyester resin and rice paper. With these I create zoological, botanical and geological specimens, which rather than factually representing natural history, take a more playful, decorative approach, often employing presentation techniques of museums, such as dioramas and display cases when exhibiting them.
Coupled with this interest in reimagining natural history, I have been incorporating decorative elements typical of Baroque and Rococo style over the last year. The highly ornate nature of these styles reveals on closer inspection that much of the patterning is drawn largely from flora and fauna. The combination of motifs from these movements, with dioramas featuring faux specimens of animal, vegetable and mineral, create a sense of the richness and excess of culture intertwined with the splendors of nature to produce a spectacular example of humans seeking to have control over their environment.
The presentation of the works connects my two major areas of interest, drawing inspiration from descriptions and engravings depicting Wunderkammer rooms European aristocrats used to have in their expansive residences coincident with the era of Baroque and Rococo. These rooms were the precursors to modern museums, featuring treasures and curiosities collected and gifted to the aristocrats, and presented in exquisite, custom-made cabinets. Arranged more for aesthetic appeal and novelty value, the collections featured a range of cultural artifacts as well as fossils, minerals and animal specimens. In my work I seek to recreate an experience of encountering nature in a fantastic form, which still contains a little mystery and isnt bounded by the scientific experience we now so often have of our world.
Kate Rhode/Romance was Born