“Kait Rhoads: Inspired by Nature and Informed by Memory” will be published in the May issue of Neues Glas/New Glass. I wrote this essay to mark the artist’s solo exhibition in Belgium. Kait is a Seattle-based sculptor deeply influenced by marine life. Below is paragraph from this article along with an image of her work.
Coral colonies and a host of other marine systems continue to inform the artist’s imagination, dictate her process, and guide Rhodes’ artwork. She interprets coral’s intricate physical structure (hexagonal tubes of calcium carbonate) and adapts their diversity of form. The species are alternately: rigid and soft; large and small; dense and lacelike. Coral visually slides up and down the taxonomic system—from rock to plant, from plant to animal. The very title of Calyx (2007), now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Northwest Art, denotes this protean shifting of form and meaning. The term is derived from two branches of biology, that of botany (the sepals that form a protective whorl around a flower) as well as zoology (a cuplike cavity or structure). Like coral, her work shifts in both structure and content, moving visually between rock, plant, and animal.