Asheville, North Carolina, artist Kathryn B. Phillips will show her Contraption Series in the Merkle and Price Galleries September 6-30. She will be in attendance for the artist reception on Friday, September 30, 6-8pm.

Phillips was taught at an early age to appreciate beauty in objects not necessarily known for their visual appeal.  Growing up along the Mississippi River as a farmer’s daughter she was aware of the importance of the equipment that operated in the fields. She said, “Coming from an agricultural background (my father planted and harvested cotton and soybeans), I am inspired by the intricacies and implications of farm machinery.”

According to Phillips, firsthand observation of the equipment initially informs a mixed media drawing, determining the main form that will anchor the composition. She then exaggerates, combines, or omits elements during the design process. As the piece develops, it begins to take on its own identity, telling her exactly what it needs. The resulting work is the possibility of the impossible: the playfulness of unyielding steel.

“I find a real freedom in redesigning a perfectly fine tuned machine with specific function into an expression of humor that hopefully delights the viewer as much it does me to create it. I choose for the most part agricultural equipment to launch my ideas, simply because that subject speaks of my home and familiarity.  My contraption series embodies this concept,” Phillips added.

Kathryn received her Fine Art degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana.