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Kristen McClarty

Initially, I painted my surroundings, a commentary on the past and present of the space. I started printmaking in early 2016.  My focus has been on relief and drypoint intaglio, with repeated experimentation in monotype. In January 2021, I moved to woodblock and I think it is where I’ll stay.

Process and authentically connecting with my materials is important to me. I must see the evidence of the wood in my print. I bow down to the natural grain and choose a block to best show off what I plan to carve on it. I believe in the connection from the eye to the brain and through the hand, to the plane that I work on. A translation and transfer of my energy to the piece of art.

Layering, translucence, simultaneous views and special places are the way I tell a story or communicate a thought, across barriers of time and space. These messages are illustrated through connections with my surroundings, light and the open sky or an enclosed room. I make art for those who find relevance in my work. A person may not have been to that place but still recognises the feeling. Alone and exposed, anxious, stretched, or embraced, grounded and secure.

My stitched work is an intimate recordal of thoughts and feelings on cloth. The cloth that I work on, has been botanically printed or dyed from locally foraged plants. These scraps of textile are layered and connected in a slow and deliberate process, developing as I stitch and think. My message and journal cloths say the things that I do not say out loud and remember the feelings that I may otherwise forget.