My work oscillates between macro and micro scales. I use diverse materials in making both object oriented reflected forms, and experiential physical installation spaces. I use the familiar platform of the lens to both influence and attract the viewer and to manipulate and challenge their attention. I apply the lens, lighting, projection and various integrated technologies and materials as a departure point to frame and reflect upon the interdependencies between humans, technology, and the natural world, illuminating the depth and complexity of our systems, and connections, from the cellular level to the collective whole.
Katy Rodden Walker is an interdisciplinary artist interested in exploring complex relationships and interconnectedness between humans and nonhumans, challenging perceptions of boundaries between humans and the environment at a micro and macro scale. She uses various materials to blur boundaries and create connections within space, and to illuminate what is largely unseen. Katy earned her BA in East Asian Studies with minor in Japanese, from Bates College. She studied Japanese language and cultural studies through the Associated Kyoto Program at Doshisha University in Kyoto Japan, where she also studied ceramics after classes. Currently, she is an MFA Candidate in Ceramics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
When did you first begin creating art?
I have been creating art since I was little, however, I didn't pursue art in earnest until I started grad school in 2019.
When did you first consider yourself to be an artist?
I think I knew that I always wanted to be an artist, but it wasn't encouraged while I was growing up, so it took me a while to realize that I couldn't live without making art or having art be a major part of my life. If I need to put a date on it, I think I started visualizing myself as an artist in 2015, when I opened my ceramics business. My interests have expanded since then, but I think that was a defining moment in my life when I realized and made the deliberate decision that I wanted to align my passion with my work life and make art for a living.
Who or what influences your practice?
I have many influences. Nature, technology, science, the Anthropocene, feminism, and so many talented artists and makers. Artists who have been influential to my studio practice recently are Chiharu Shiota, Mariko Mori, Phoebe Cummings, Pipilotti Rist, Nari Oxman, Natalie Jeremijenko, and Yoyoi Kusama. There are others, too, but I find myself going back to these artists often, studying their work and thinking about how it impacts and affects me, and what they are trying to communicate with their unique visual language.
Tell us about a specific moment in your career that you would consider a turning point.
I recently learned that I have been selected as one of Surface Design's Outstanding Students in 2022! This feels like validation that what I have been working on resonates with others. I'm so honored to be selected. Personally, I have grown a lot since I started grad school in 2019. I started out making ceramic sculptures and transitioned into making multimedia installations. I think letting go of clay and ceramics as my sole medium was a huge turning point for me because it gave me time to explore other materials and really think about immersing my audience into sensory environments.
Where would you like to see your artwork go in the future?
My goal is to figure out how to make a sustainable living out of being an interdisciplinary artist, so I hope to make it into more shows and museums. I want to get my name out there and hope that others can experience what I have been creating in person.