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Kate Made



University of Tennessee Capstone Exhibition


Try to frame yourself in a world that communicates without words, without text. Every person, all cultures rely heavily upon sets of predetermined symbols to convey ideas, narratives, statements, instructions, and emotions. I am reliant upon them as a conduit to share an idea, and you to understand it. I have found my work to be heavily invested in communication through symbols, whether that be letters, images, or patterns.  Because of these established symbols, we can now transmit ideas with clarity, precision, and impact. I am most intrigued by how the raw range of human emotions must all comply to the straight, systematic lines of typography. A typed dirge of sorrow or a poem of palpable joy is but a sheet of pattern to an illiterate person.  

In my work I try to visualize the dichotomy between the subtleties of organic thought with the universal and uniform code. I create expressive pieces of different media and collage them together to form an invented alphabet. In the making of this alphabet, I am still able to experience a certain kind of joy in making something that has never existed before. I also paint tangible objects in an attempt to explore them as a means of communication.  These alphabets, not meant to be read, forces the viewer to stand as an outsider to the language to try to understand its meaning.