So the forms I'm filling out asked what I'd do with endless money.
I’d emigrate to Sweden and give up on the idea of a job and just make art all day. A personal trainer who was also a circus performer in her young and reckless days would teach me Lyra hoop and wire-walking to stop my body from decomposing as I sit around drawing all the time. Periodically I’d whizz off to various exciting places and spend forever going around Natural History and Science museums, watching endless planetarium shows and sashaying through butterfly parks while eating chocolate-covered goji berries. After dumping enormous piles of money on scientists I’d have a biomechanical hand so that I could continue pole-dancing whilst also funding the creation of a fossil-fuel free method of swift transport so that my friends could fly to my forest home for midnight ambient- and prog-rock concert/picnics. I’d build a completely earth-friendly house up a tree, fill it with light and cats, and bring my best friend to live in a nearby treehouse. We would zipline to each other’s homes, cackling gleefully; and make frequent pilgrimages to Disney World.
I would also consider getting my scientist friends to clone enormous sofa-sized bunnies that could be used as furniture, but eventually abandon the idea for ethical reasons.
About to go to my first Masters seminar. After struggling through teaching and an injury to my dominant wrist that persisted for a whole year (doing physio now so it’s fine) I’m excited to get back into art.
So I’m ‘interning’ at the Centre for Book Arts in New York, helping set up their exhibition. They called it an internship initially, but it’s just labour really. Totally putting it as an internship on my cv though.
Hoping to take a course in book-binding next week and maybe even make some contacts/network additions at the exhibition opening ..
Otherwise, been doing some drawing and trying to write a bit. I’m still hoping to illustrate a story from a while back, but we’ll see how that goes.
So we were encouraged to write a profile sort of explaining ourselves and our work during the L’Atelier workshop. It always seems so pretentious to write about oneself in the third person, but isn’t it always uncomfortable to write about oneself?
This is what I came up with:
"Kathleen Sawyer attempts to marry the beautiful and the grotesque in finely-detailed drawings rendered in ballpoint pen. Her interests lie mainly in portraiture and the body, mutation, fairytales, and horrible death. Adrift in negative space, each sensitively-observed drawing appears ephemeral; the figures seeming introspective and lost. Most individual pieces possess a kind of static poise which cements each character in an almost sculptural stasis, trapping subjects in the picture plane and reflecting the artist’s interest in emotional isolation.
Other pieces are realised in the form of book arts; in which drawings and cut-outs come together in a narrative format that unfolds as they are ‘read.’ Such works require the viewer to actively explore each piece page by page, creating an immersive experience that allows each viewer to choose how much or how little they wish to discover about the artwork. This enables a more intimate relation between artwork and audience; yet this engagement is subjective in itself as each book is best engaged with on a private level.
By making the enclosed nature of personal experience transparent in her drawings, Sawyer encourages the interrogation of the subjectivity which simultaneously unites and isolates us all.”
A few people have been asking whether they can buy some of my art. While I do sell prints and happen to have a few in stock, I cannot at this time sell any of my book arts. The entirety of the Somata collection was bought by a private collector of book arts at the L’Atelier exhibition, so I no longer have access to those works. My wolfy book is also going to be used as part of my Masters next year and thus is not currently for sale.
HOWEVER I do have copies of single artworks available.
If anyone is interested, please email me at artbykatsaw [at] outlook [dot] com. I do not have PayPal as it requires some special arrangement in South Africa that is costly/inconvenient, so please contact me and we can liaise with regards to account details.
Hello Kathleen,is ist possible to buy the book that's connected with red riding Hood? Best, Sarah Ellersdorfer
Currently my wolfy book is not for sale as I plan to do a series of three books along the same theme and have not had the chance to do the other two yet. I am also hoping to use these as part of my Masters, which I start next year.
I am, however, selling single prints [which I should probably make an official post about, actually] of some of my other drawings.
Hello. I am Lara McDonald. I am teaching a high school Anatomy and Physiology. I was wanting my students to create a book autopsy similar to yours for their final project. I was wondering if you could provide me with some more pictures of your book or let me know how much you material you placed on each overlay. Any help would be fabulous! Thanks. Lara McDonald
Hi Lara. I am so very glad that you enjoyed my work! I do have some pictures other than those found online. If you were to email me at artbykatsaw [at] outlook [dot] com I would definitely be willing to help you out.
In the meantime you can ogle this amazing eye-candy by other artists:
So I presented my big year-project the other day. Even though the entire thing was about how I was unfit to become a teacher and dealt with my negative feelings surrounding the course, everyone seemed to like it. It was the only art-centred presentation in our group, except for this one girl who compared her development to that of a caterpillar/butterfly and had a little picture to illustrate. So presumably it was refreshing for the supervisor/rest of the group to see something different and also get ‘the other side’ of the teaching experience after so many people’s positive presentations.
The supervisor came to me afterwards and said that he really liked the way that my project was realised and said that the feelings/concepts were well-expressed by the drawings.
Now once I finish my little five-page comic for my online course I can start studying and put this year behind me.
I absolutely love your Book Autopsy. I am teaching A&P this year for the first time at Etowah High School and would love to have my students at the end of the year create a book autopsy like yours. I would have them start off with pages about each organ system and then have the book autopsy at the end. I was wondering if you could provide me with more information of how to create the book or which organ systems you used for each page or maybe even more pictures. Thanks. Lara McDonald
Although it is a lovely project, and was fun for me to work on, I don’t really feel comfortable with revealing exactly how it was done. Someone has already asked me if I would explain my process, and as I honestly want to hep other artists I complied. But afterwards I thought better of it .. The concept is not unique (although I had not seen anything similar until after completing the piece; which shows how much research I did on the subject…); however one tends to be a little precious with one’s own work.
However, I can suggest the following:
Zygote Body was a valuable reference to me as it allows one to see the various ‘layers’ of organs within the body.
Get your students to ‘map out’ exactly how they would like their organs to be laid out. focusing on how they will relate to each other in the varying levels in the book. This may take a lot of time and sketching.
“Kathleen Sawyer majored in Printmaking at Rhodes University, but her main focus is on drawing. Her book arts have been exhibited in the 2013 Absa Atelier and not many places else. She likes hideous skin diseases and horrible death.”—
This is literally all I wrote as my bio for the art auction I submitted to.
Dear Kathleen, we came across your anatomy artwork on Street anatomy and thought your work was amazing! We are wondering if you would like to get involved with our charity anatomy art event - Anatomy For Life in support of organ donation & transplant research in the UK (8th-14th July)? International submissions are welcome and we would love to have your contribution. Please take a look at our page for more info. Many thanks! - Conrad (Anatomy For Life organiser)
I would love to contribute; thank you. Will get to it as soon as I can.