Dynamis Mirage Eye / by Kate Tupper

I started writing for grants almost a year ago, thinking of this series of sculpture that I wanted to build. Most of my pieces take around 500 hours to complete so I knew I needed several financial sources in order to be able to produce the numbers I wanted to the level of detail I love. This early spring I was happy to receive a B.C. Arts Council grant and this late spring a CKCA grant that together make this body of work possible. I have many pieces cut and formed and several almost finished, I look forward to a fall of creation thanks to these arts grants. I am a very lucky happy lady. Check out an excerpt of my artist statement below for more insight as to where I'm headed.


A series of mild steel sculptures, activating mythological power objects.

Formed, fitted, welded, hand painted specimens.  A collection of enchanted 3D botanics. Hybrid, cocooned mysteries. Ethereal obscurities. Crystal, barnacle, matrix technologies. Fantastical dreamy components. Devices of Sci Fi myth. 

I utilize sculpture for modern day storytelling. As mythology throughout history helped humans make sense of their world, I strive to do the same with ours. Several years ago I had a vision, and developed a personal style that had the potential to hold the information I was assembling. I was hoping the work would become devices of connection within our place, each other, and ourselves. Imagery can be utilized creating objects to help keep humanity grounded, while evolving quickly into a world of technology.

Science Fiction has long been used to predict possible futures and address fundamental human relationship themes in fact-based, imagination-fuelled prophesy. It’s a great platform for the classical themes of man vs man, himself, and nature. I think that, as in the myths and fairytales of our past, storytelling still has the ability to educate about our environment and our place in it. I utilize current information about our origins and our world; the implications of our interactions. By addressing what we know and by telling edgy, embellished, beautiful stories, we can hypothesize solutions without being restrained by our technology, good taste, or sensibilities. The beauty of using Science Fiction to tell a story is in the vein of truth; its origin is based in fact. Hitting people deeper than they realize, I spin visual myth that connects most viewers on some level.

In many stories, an enchanted object is linked to transformation, to healing, opening, and connection, and often the true power of the object is inside the protagonist all along. Sometimes we just need something tangible to remind us of this. In readings, the recipe for such an object requires that, while building, the maker holds the true intention of the work in their heart. Visually, the work should reflect the same story through use of colour, texture, and symbolism, and should closely represent the intended purpose. I build objects that reflect the visual patterns I study,  continuing to investigate what it takes to unite our community locally and globally through a common consciousness; a mechanical solidarity through affinity.

I use organic visual elements in an attempt to connect us to the earth; to keep the work grounded and relevant. These details are what I usually consider to be the tangible part of the sculpture; the real touchables. I take cues from anything in my world whose form fits the story, the feeling I am attempting to portray.  I study the landscapes and lifestyles of flora and the geography surrounding us, absorbing their visual information and converting it into fractal geometry-based patterns, wound with symbolism. There’s an underwritten code in nature, a drama to the physical attributes of plants, displaying waves in spirals, branches branching, colour to call attention. So often, there is a contradiction of soft petals and thorny protection. My stories are similarly balanced with the dark and the light, tarnished silver, dark romance.