2020 MASTER OF FINE ARTS EXHIBITION
March 8 – April 9, 2020
The Art Gallery, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Within/Without is an invitation to engage with the emotions we feel living within a world of uncertainty, without concrete solutions. It is a physical manifestation of my own emotional uncertainty in trying to imagine ways out of the climate chaos we are facing.
This past summer, I received approximately 600 pounds of ‘ghost net’ from Ocean Voyages—just a “tiny” portion of a 40,000-ton haul of plastic waste from the Pacific Gyre. I view this “gift of garbage” as a bold metaphor for the micro and macro challenges we face as inhabitants of Earth. The installation offers abstractions of clichéd iconography, through a Pepper’s Ghost illusion in which a sheet of glass is used as an optical beam splitter to superimpose one image upon another. Neon, light, and mirrors create further illusions within the space, while the use of glass alludes to our ecological fragility.
I am questioning how we can create space for consciously cultivated hope and understanding within a present where history is being written by each and every one of us.
Born and raised in California, Kat Kazlauskas received her BFA from UC Berkeley with a concurrent BA in Rhetoric in 2009. Kat worked in glass production, creation, and education for seven years before relocating to O‘ahu in 2017 to pursue an MFA at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her concentration is in sculpture and site-specific installation with a focus on the intersections between the human-made and natural environment. Since moving to O‘ahu, the locus of her work has been on utilizing ocean plastics to bring attention to the interconnection of over-consumption, modern convenience, and climate change.