Faculty of Art

Drawing and Painting



Drawing and Painting

“My work investigates the status of plants within western urban society, taking into consideration the psychological and cultural influences on the human experience of nature. I am interested in the way exposure, attention, and perceived value interact during our encounters with nature, and how this shapes our relationships within the living world. My research investigates the impact of consumer culture and mass media on our perceptions of nature, and the discrepancies in plant recognition that result. I also utilize my background in neuroscience to expose another factor in plant awareness: cognitive predispositions in the form of attention biases. My studio work is oriented around the phenomenon of ‘plant blindness,’ a cognitive mechanism that results in difficulty noticing and recognizing plants in comparison to other species. Because attention forms a foundation for reciprocal relationships, respect, and value for plant species, becoming aware of cognitive biases can allow us to change our inherent ways of seeing and relating to plants. My work attempts to achieve this by illuminating the experience of plant blindness, providing the viewer an opportunity to re-evaluate their awareness of nature.My oil paintings act as simulations of our visual experience of nature, utilizing artistic license to elucidate my scientific research through a painterly approach. The works are composed of photographic imagery from nature, most often plant and flower matter, collaged and distorted through digital processes and translated into paint. The result is a fragmented, ephemeral suggestion of a scene within nature, with some forms more recognizable, others obscured. This effect mimics the visual experience we generally encounter when we consume nature, questioning where we direct our attention, what we see, and what we may or may not recognize.”

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Kathryn is a multi-media artist, designer and teacher. While her thesis work has focused on painting, she also works in ceramics and digital mediums. Her work reflects her connection to land and living things, and often references personal places from her homes in coastal BC. Her studies in neuroscience, sustainable farming, and plant medicine are all foundations for her creative work.
OCAD U - Faculty of Art
Drawing and Painting
Major Completed, 2021
Dalhousie University
Psychology and Neuroscience
Major Completed, 2016
NSCAD University
Art History
Minor Completed, 2016

Art Education Floral Design Arts Programming

2021, Always Something Beyond: 3D Virtual Exhibition
OCADU via Kunstmatrix
2021, Under Construction: DRPT Thesis Works 2020-2021
OCAD University
2021, Display Case Cedar Hill Arts Centre
Saanich, BC
2021, Nora E. Vaughan Award
OCAD University