{Kasasagi: Translated from Japanese means magpie. It is used figuratively to refer to a person who obsessively collects things.}

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Artist Statement

 

Using discarded paper, wire and thread, I try to capture the delicate detail and beauty found in nature. My work is influenced by plants, insects and found objects which I recreate as intricate, life-sized sculptures and arrange carefully into collections, installations and dioramas.  

I have always been fascinated by nature and my work focuses on documenting what I discover and how we connect with the natural world. It often represents the experiences of myself or others, linking people to places and moments in time through curated collections of specific species.

I use discarded paper to encourage you to look closer and consider the small and hidden details that may normally be over looked. I leave aspects of the original materials visible so the sculptures looks real and not real at the same time, inviting you to question the objects you see and the worlds or experiences I have documented. 

Tools used by artist Kate Kato | Kasasagi
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Process

 

I work mainly with paper as this is a medium I have loved and used since I began my creative practice. I also use wire, thread and other reclaimed materials. When I moved from creating 2D work to 3D it seemed like a natural progression to continue using paper and its properties lend themselves well to the plants and insects I like to create.

 As documenting is a big part of my work my process always starts with research. I go out and collect things or sketch and photograph them. I read about the plants and insects I cannot find 'in the wild' and try to find images in books or on the internet to help me understand how each species fits into it's part of the world.

I use this information to inspire new ideas and to design the sculptures from. I always try to experiment before making something new, trying different structures and papers to see which ones work best. Once I'm happy with my idea I will create a technical sketch and templates to build the final piece from.

I use a range of techniques to create my sculptures including paper cutting, carving, wire work and embroidery. Everything I make is drawn and cut by hand as this gives each sculpture its own unique and more organic shape and allows me to create a truly individual sculpture. 

The insects bodies are carved from stacks of paper and then covered with paper shells. The butterflies wings are embroidered by hand to keep their patterns accurate and the threads close together. These are very time consuming processes which means a bug can take anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours to make and the butterflies can take from 1-10 hours to stitch and assemble.

I love the changes in colour and texture created by the variety of materials and techniques I use, helping to make the sculptures more lifelike. Some of the sculptures I create make use of the colours and textures found in the papers I collect, like the background of a photograph in a magazine or the bumps in a screwed up old paper bag. I also use watercolours and inks to add colour to the sculptures, creating more natural tones and organic patterns.

Film: 'Curious In Nature', a film about my work and what inspires me by R&A Collaborations. 

Biography

 

Originally from Bristol, I completed my BA(hons) in Graphic Design at the University of the West of England in 2006. During my degree I focused on book making and print, developing skills in book binding, type setting and screen printing. I explored ideas of narrative and alternative ways of presenting stories and books, working intensively with paper.

After graduating, I worked as a photographer and freelance graphic designer, photographing people and places and creating printed designs for branding and marketing. In 2014 I moved to the Welsh countryside with my family. Living rurally helped me to reconnect with nature and find my creative curiosity again. I decided to take my practice in a different and more personal direction, establishing myself as an artist and developing the sculptures I create today.

I live and work just outside the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye and have exhibited work nationally and internationally. I have worked for clients such as Sotheby's, Conde Nast Publications and Oroton and have artwork in public and private collections around the world.

Hergest Ridge, Powys, Wales, UK.
technical drawings.......
technical drawings.......

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my desk, sketch books and references
my desk, sketch books and references

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my workshop.....
my workshop.....

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technical drawings.......
technical drawings.......

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