Thematically, my work investigates the inherent tensions that occur between animals, plants and humans as we encroach on each other. Abandoned overgrown spaces, human interventions in nature, and the slow reclaiming of the manmade by the natural world make up the source material for my work. Transformations over time, literal and psychological, are explored through subject and material.
I’m an avid gardener and I use the plants I grow as inspiration, and subjects, for my work. I collect and press plants from my garden, coat them with natural dye and ‘stamp’ them onto fabric to create paintings. I work on silk or cotton or linen. The dyes are made from plants like goldenrod, madder, indigo, and coreopsis. The pressed plants also become part of the imagery used in the large-scale cyanotypes. Every cyanotype is a complete experiment filled with variables that can change the end result: fabric, chemicals, my son, the sun.
The cyanotypes represent a specific period of time, the 12 minutes that we lay on the fabric and tried to be still. Like a daguerreotype photo, you can sense that passage of time in the final piece. I am trying to capture how my brain remembers, or doesn’t.
Caitlin Parker is a multidisciplinary artist. Her current work involves printing on paper and fabric with pressed plants and experimentation with natural dyes, cyanotype process on fabric, sewing and weaving. Since receiving her BA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London and her MFA in painting from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Parker has exhibited her work in New York, California, Nevada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. She has had solo shows at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; Michael Steinberg Fine Art, NYC; and Rhodes and Mann Gallery, London. Parker has been the recipient of the Rodney Burn Prize, Bard College MFA fellowship, and Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, which took her to conduct research and photograph Ukraine’s Chernobyl site. She was recently in residency at the studios at MASS MoCA. She grew up in Northern California and lives and works in upstate New York.