kate budd

Visiting museums as a child in Scotland, I was captivated by ancient Pictish objects with didactics that read only “use unknown, possibly ritual”. Inspired by those mysterious objects and their unknown makers as an adult, I imagine a matriarchal Scottish tribe, a society where the men took care of the practicalities of daily life, while the women were the spiritual leaders and skilled artisans.

These remnants celebrate the tribe’s sacred relationship to the land and water. Some forms show abstracted shells, and others depict Scottish flora and fauna, sexuality, or the body. Vessel and sieve forms may imply the relationship between the people and the water they depended on for spiritual and physical sustenance. Some are enigmatic and hint at possible ritual functions, like the objects that sparked my imagination as a child.

The pieces are created through the lost wax casting method; the originals are carved from solid chunks of paraffin wax. For me, the reductive process allows for the perfect mix of intention and intuition. As I slowly scrape the wax away to find the form; knowledge, imperfect memory and imagination take the form of hybrids that inhabit a zone between the organic and functional, the psychologically charged and the coolly neutral.

Sometimes, pieces are destroyed through an imperfect casting; the potential for loss makes the ones that survive more precious. The pieces are between one and two inches in size; the tiny scale invites intimacy and close inspection. By gold plating the objects, I hope to incite the viewer’s desire to hold and possess them.