KATE KERN  Visual Artist

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Ninety-seventh Connection: Forming an organized pattern


On a spring afternoon in 1989 as I sat in my 3rd floor studio working on the spiraling shapes you see here, I noted that the Braxon Hicks contractions I had been feeling all day seemed to be coming closer together and seemed to be forming an organized pattern. Leaving the studio at the end of my working day, I paused to look at this developing piece and thought about putting it away but decided against it. I was in a hurry to pick up my daughter from daycare and get ready to have my cousin and her husband over for dinner that night. At some point in this process it dawned on me that the contractions were the real thing. Dinner with Mary and Geoff was postponed, my in-laws came over to pick up my daughter and my husband and I got ready to go to the hospital. Our son, Max, was born early the next morning. In the fall returning to work on this piece, I remember walking into the room with its slanted ceiling, settling myself in the chair and remarking that all was exactly as I left it. The small brush next to a much used yogurt container for water, next to the plastic yogurt lid I used for a palette. Something had changed. It was me. I recognized the spiraling shapes as following the same undulating pattern of the uterine contractions I experienced and I knew that a circular (almost concentric circle) breast shape was the perfect contrasting textural and conceptual element I needed. The finished piece, Faith ©1990, became part of a new series of intensely patterned artists’ books.

Finding Connections in a Drawn World