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Kate Petley
at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, Wyoming
Recommendation by Leanne Goebel

Kate Petley is not a painter. Yet, her collaged works on acrylic with resin are saturated with rich colors and images that hint at urban graffiti. These are mixed with intricate drawing and what appear to be brush strokes, but are in fact film. Petley fuses the elements of drawing, painting, and photography into something else by exploring the spaces in between each medium. Her technical and complicated process results in atmospheric abstracted elements that seem to capture light, holding it suspended within stratums and segments. “When we encounter Nature,” she writes in her artist’s statement, “We are moved physically and mentally. The link between the physical experience and our memory of it calls for a visual language of light and shadow, color and shade, hints of loss, isolation and change.” She explores this idea in her installations: “Perfectly Dependent,” photographic prints on polycarbonate shaped into tubes; and “Nothing,” four large, white weather balloons delicately suspended, appearing to float above the floor. They are nothing but air, inside and outside. In the end it is this neutrality of loss and isolation, the thin membrane between reality and memory, that Petley illuminates with her art.

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