All I Can Remember is the Smell of This and the Hollow Sound of the Humidity
liquid photographic emulsion, linen fabric, thread, paracord, elm wood, 9 x 4 1/4 feet, each panel
Sunroom Project Space 2018
Katie M. Westmoreland’s immersive installation of fabric panels utilizes passing light and shadows as active mediums in her work. For the Sun Porch, she creates four large-scale, kinetic, painted tapestries that are suspended from the ceiling with paracord and connected to moveable, turned wooden weights on the floor.
Raised in a family of quilters, Westmoreland was drawn to mark-making on fabric. Trained in photography, she employs the raw materials of photographic processes. The studies Westmoreland has created use a cyanotype solution to trace the patterns that sunlight casts through plants and trees in the Sun Porch during the winter and early spring seasons. During those seasons the Sun Porch, also known as a winter garden, serves as a temporary greenhouse for outdoor plants. Applying liquid emulsion on four large, linen panels, Westmoreland reconstructs the patterns of shifting light as they appeared in the space in varying scales. Both sides of the tapestries are painted, and the edges are folded over and hand sewn, creating a continuous effect. The fabric colors of the linen were selected to match the changing, atmospheric, interior light of the Sun Porch.
Westmoreland’s installation recalls these fleeting shapes of light, capturing their tactility and physicality. Layers of history and time are conflated as light and shadow patterns actively project onto the semi-translucent, painted surface each day. Westmoreland states, “My work collaborates with a place to show evidence of its existence and its impact.” She also explores the material and the immaterial in her process. Filtering her work through synesthesia, Westmoreland explains that the visual imagery evokes the sound and smell of the plants in the Sun Porch.
- Eileen Jeng Lynch, Curator, Wave Hill