Artist and WMG Member Spotlight – Kelsey Curkeet

“Like watching clouds, the viewer can search for something familiar within the images, allowing a subconscious extraction from their own memories and imaginations.”

–Kelsey Curkeet

Ellen - inkjet print; 20 x 30 inches

Looking at Kelsey Curkeet’s photograph, Ellen, exhibited in January/February 2010 in the student show, “While in Class”, I immediately sense a powerful and mysterious story in the direct stare of the woman who is the subject, and in the watery texture of the background from which her face emerges. I want to know the details behind this haunting tableau, and I learn from Curkeet’s writing that this story I sense is entirely her creation:

Flippant Cadence - macro photography; 36 x 24 inches

“My work tends to walk the line between the grotesque and the beautiful. My photographs are not documentation of the world around me, but instead are non-existent in the sense that a painting is non-existent. The images could not exist in the real world, only in the images that I have created. They have the same sense of discovery as the first-time viewing of a painting. They don’t depict places or events you might have visited or people you may have met.”

Similarly, Curkeet’s more abstract photographs, whose rich textures mirror elements of the background in Ellen, are also images of her creation. This work is the result of experimentation with various liquid chemicals, all of which she mixes in Petri dishes in order to achieve captivating abstract landscapes with slippery looking bubbles, liquid twists, and dramatic shadows. Like Ellen, I find these photographs to be incredibly soulful, particularly with the understanding that they are all the result of Curkeet’s exploration and manipulation.

Diluted Diesel – photography; 13 x 19 inches

It is easier to understand this mysterious and soulful quality emerging from Curkeet’s images when I learn that she often works around the theme of the female body: “The images that I create tend to deal with the female figure or represent her in some way. It manifests itself in themes like body image, self-esteem, and loss of innocence and naivety.” Perhaps it is from this source that Curkeet draws her inspiration and ability to create such strong and masterful photographs, which are especially confident considering that she is still a student. Woman Made Gallery is honored to have exhibited Curkeet’s incredible work, and looks forward to all that she will create.

*Curkeet was one of three students awarded an honorary Gallery Membership for her outstanding work in the “While in Class…” show. She is a student at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

  • All of our Gallery Members can be found here.
  • For more information on our Gallery Level Memberships please click here

– Ruby Thorkelson, Gallery Assistant

Ruby is Woman Made’s new Gallery Assistant as of July 2010.

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