Kelly Garrett Rathbone was born in Singapore and has called Indonesia, Norway, and Italy her home outside of the US. She studied at Parsons School of Design, The Art Institute of Chicago, Penland School of Crafts, and The Florence Academy of Art. She began working with clay as an apprentice for sculptor Cristina Cordova. Kelly has been awarded ceramic residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, the Archie Bray Foundation, and the Da Wang Culture Highland in Shenzhen China. She is currently an artist in residence at the LH Project in Oregon, and her work can be found in national and international collections. Kelly, her fiance and their animals will be moving to Portland the summer of 2013.
Growing up internationally, studying classical sculpture in Italy, and most recently returning from a ceramic residency in China, has all led up to the body of work that I call “Lost Mariposas”. Just as the title of the show is a play on pronunciation of “Lost” in substitute for the Spanish “Las” meaning “the” , this body of work plays with colliding cultures, duel-meanings, and leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
I not only explore recognizable iconography and culture references but I have meshed the traditional old-world techniques with those of my own. Pushing the boundaries of the material and dissecting tradition.
“Mariposas” is Spanish for butterflies. They are the symbol of rebirth, resurrection. So in resurrecting the traditions of old worlds and breaking them down and rearranging them to create something new, the butterfly becomes a sort of symbolic mascot of this body of work, both physically and spiritually.
-Kelly Garrett Rathbone