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

Artist Statement

 

Using recycled paper 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 the natural world and documenting what I discover has become my main motivation for creating my work. I love scientific illustrations and museum collections that record and display information and document our discovery of nature. I view my work as a 3D record of my learning and experiences of the natural world.

For me, creating my work can be very nostalgic, taking me back to the curiosity that fueled my childhood and my wonder for nature. I like to use materials in a way that provokes this curiosity in the viewer too by leaving sections of the original object visible in the new sculpture. I want the sculptures to look real and not real at the same time inviting others to look closer and consider details that may normally be over looked. My work aims to spark a curiosity in nature I feel we may be losing and encourage an awareness of the environment through my documentation of it. I want to bring those small, hidden and overlooked details into view. By curating collections and building installations and dioramas of natural spaces I hope to inspire and inform the imagination of others, encouraging them to question the objects they see and the worlds I have documented.

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 quiet countryside of the Welsh Borders 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.

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. For me, experimenting is one of the most important stages of the process because even if it doesn't work the way you expect, you still learn something useful. 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 carving, wire work and embroidery. Everything I make is drawn and then cut by hand. 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. 

My most used tools.

Hergest Ridge, Powys, where I live and work.

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Kasasagi and all its images and creations are copyrighted and property of Kate Kato.
If you are interested in using any of my images please do contact me .

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working in the workshop.....