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Cat Crotchett is Professor at the Frostic School of Art.
My work uses patterns to vividly represent human emotions and experience, and to convey not just beauty but tension. As the world has changed these last few months, the patterns of my life have changed (anthropologist Jane Guyer has dubbed it an “enforced present”). I’m not alone in this. My daily dog-walks have become a pattern for survival, and I’ve come to see that my neighbors—walking their dogs, jogging, biking—have their own survival patterns. With this, my painting process is changing. Old patterns are being destroyed, and new patterns are beginning to emerge. The work in my studio currently represents an intersection of information, emotion, and physical limitations. The patterns and colors inhabit spaces that are similar, but not the same – suggesting multiple realities in the same composition. Each composition is engaged in some form of conflict, suggesting raw emotion framed in the context of social distancing, economic instability, protest, and democracy on the verge of collapse. The three pieces in this show, Two Sides, Bleed, and Found were all made in the summer of 2020. Black Lives Matter protests and structuralized racism were present in my thinking when these works were created.