Kate Marin is originally from Kansas but has been living in Florence for the past year and a half studying figurative sculpture at the Sacred Art School, under sculptors, Cody Swanson and Fernando Cidoncha. Kate received her BA in art at Benedictine College in 2012 and eventually worked as an adjunct professor there for two years teaching the drawing courses for the art program before moving to Florence.
Her pursuit of an education in figurative sculpture came about as a response to a “call” she felt during her first exposure to the medium in a four day lesson sculpting a portrait from life. The experience and conviction was so strong that it carried her through for the next few years until she could finally realize her dream of studying sculpture in Italy.
As she finishes the program this June she looks forward to stepping out of the role of student and into the role of working artist. Though she will leave the classroom, she is deeply aware that the learning has only just begun.
She hopes to create works that speak to the human experience in all its diversity. She hopes to create works that call people deeper into the truth of themselves and deeper into their search for the existential, infinite, “energy” or “being” that is beyond us. In her personal journey she has come to know that infinite “being” as the Triune God and hopes that her works will in some way “make perceptible…the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God.” (Pope John Paul II in his Letter to Artists)
What is real?
I think this is the question we are all trying to answer. I think ultimately everything we do in life is in some way our attempt to respond to this question. It lies deep within our souls in that place where we long for something more, something beyond us. We all must respond to this question, each in our own unique, unrepeatable way. We can try to ignore it but it always comes back, causing our soul to cry out once more, "what is real?”.
My personal response to this question has come in the form of the creative process. It is a way to communicate with that longing and to try to better understand myself and the world around me. I have been looking for the best mediums, techniques, and subject matter to aid me in this dialogue since the beginning of my creative journey and I have found figurative sculpture to be my truest means of exploring the questions and desires that are deepest in my soul.
Clay is a material that feels natural in my hands. It is not something I struggle against, it is something I search with. The clay holds form but can also be moved and adjusted many times as I work to grasp the truth of the forms. The challenge of working three dimensionally forces me to have to understand my subject matter better as it exists in its fullness; I have to study it from every angle, working to comprehend how all its parts work together and relate to each other.
When working with the human figure I must remember that the reality of my subject goes beyond what I can merely see with my eyes. They also have a soul, they have a lived experience full of joys and sorrows, and they too share in my desire for what is real. This I must search out as well, and in the process of doing so somehow it helps me to answer my own longing question.