Kendra Werst


Artist Statement: Translation

I claim for myself the right to determine the terms and images that reflect my personal identity. Translation is in homage to my mother and father. I was adopted when I was an infant and while growing up, I felt that I was who I was because of my blood. In my years of personal development I have realized it is much more than that. I am an amalgamation of the emotional, psychological, and physical attributes of my parents.

My mother and father are both analytical by nature. My mother, is a mathematician and my father, a civil engineer. The arrangements that come to fruition in my work are similar to the systematic way that my mother solves mathematical problems; my attraction to line and architecture stems from my father. Growing up I would flip through the blue prints and bridge plans that were on my father’s desk. The colors in Translation come from my mother and father's use of black, red, and blue pens, along with the yellow highlighters scattered around the house.

At this point I use an inclusive visual language that honors my individuality in my work in sculpture and installation. Translation and other works utilize a grid of nails as a framework for the attachment of threads under tension. This system allows for connections to be made and leaves space for accretion. The various threads are similar but individual, each one being a dependent variable in a formula. As each thread is secured from point to point, an organic form of visual biology is generated.

In Translation the plexiglass, extends out from a corner as an internal armature. The thin transparent sheet acts as a neutral ground separating the top and bottom sections of the threaded construction, while simultaneously synchronizing them. There is a symbiosis created between the thread, nails, and plexiglass. The internal form would not hold without the plexiglass, the plexiglass would not hold without the thread and nails. The piece would also not hold without the architecture of the corner.

Translation is seemingly complex but falls into place using a simple form. The feeling of complexity in this work is created from the abundant number of threads interacting with each other, the nail grid, plexiglass sheet, and the corner. The threads themselves are not complex. In this world, I am a unique individual that has been created from various complexities but in completion I take the singular body of being a human being.

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