I find it critical to expose the agency of non-human objects and materials in order to begin to decipher the discussions surrounding the mounting pressures of the Anthropocene. I attempt to segment issues you cannot directly see or touch, by creating work that explores tactile relatability. Although I use an environmental lens to provoke questions of materiality and hierarchy, I do not consider my artwork to be a form of activism because it does not claim to have answers.
Much of my work involves large amounts of physical labor. This process is tedious, repetitive and draining, yet I choose to do it. Over time, this has given me an outlet to direct my feelings of guilt towards. It allows me to focus this unidentifiable, overwhelming emotion into one specific act. I feel there should be a consequence for the negative impact I have on earth--I incur that punishment through manual labor where I create work of and for the natural world. Since I cannot put a face or name to the primary exploiters of our planet, I see this reaction as a sort of penance for our society’s lack of action. I take this shame upon myself. Consider this work an incomplete apology from maker to material.
Stylistically, my sculpture plays with the power of function versus aesthetic. The work does not function as it is perceived to function, but it looks utilitarian. I tend to organize my work in a rational, human way where the incorporated natural elements are being controlled, compressed or contained. In some ways, this gives the manipulator (myself) the authority; however, the effort involved in controlling these elements as they rebel is a way in which they take their power back. For some reason, we trust what appears to have a definitive purpose or exists to carry out a specific task. This gives tools and systems that fit into this category the privilege of automatic respect. By blurring the line between utilitarian and frivolous, these forms serve as a platform to host critical dialogue regarding power, value and trust.
She is currently living and working in Atlanta, Georgia and is an MFA candidate at Georgia State University.
Photo courtesy of Chris Carder
Kylie Little is an artist best known for sculpture and installation. She was born in 1994 in Goshen, Indiana and graduated from University of Indianapolis with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Pre-Art Therapy with a concentration in Sculpture. Kylie creates using a variety of materials but favors wood, metal and other naturally occurring elements, such as soil. She allows the materials to directly influence and guide her artwork and the process of its creation.