An Artist's Statement

An Artist's Statement
Kate Daughdrill
Written in January 2013
7 years ago

I believe that we are often driven by our unfilled needs. I have spent the last ten years making spaces and moving them around, searching for something. Sitting in the tiny greenhouse on my farm this October, I realized that the something had found me.

I am coming to see that my artistic practice has been driven by a search for a sense of well-being. Day by day, it is becoming about learning to live the work. It is becoming about being near what brings health and what brings life.

Most of my work makes space. It claims space in simple ways and invites me to be thoughtful about how to grow a certain spirit there. My practice allows me to explore how the ways we use spaces and the objects we make for them affect the type of people we become.

My work uses food as a medium for learning to live well. Growing, preparing, and enjoying food draws us to the present…and often draws us to each other. It has a way of releasing a unique energy between people that has a way of building moments of common understanding. It teaches us to value and care for living things. Working with food and other living materials teaches me how to see and pay attention to what is happening around me. It teaches me how to listen to the work and how to keep showing up.

Detroit is a deeply compelling place to be living and working as an artist right now. It is providing me with the space and time to learn to work and sustain myself in a new, life-giving way. Because of the ways the existing economic and political systems are failing us, living in Detroit compels many who live here to learn to take care of ourselves, to grow our own food, and to build the spaces and tools needed to live self-reliantly. Taking responsibility for my own well-being and working with long-time Detroiters to make spaces that help build healthier communities in this place at this time has profoundly shaped my creative work.

As my artistic practice weaves more and more gracefully into my daily practice, I am becoming convinced that integration is health. As I am learning to live the work, I am discovering what is truly of value. True value brings joy.

Image: Ali Lapetina