Kathryn Polk: “Narrative Lithographs”
Wally Workman Gallery, January 9 – February 2
By Vanessa Blankenship
Artist Kathryn Polk has been creating intricate lithographs, images printed on flat surfaces like stone, for the past 17 years. Drawing inspiration from her childhood in the South during the ’50s and ’60s, the expected role of women in society and four generations of women in her family, Polk’s artwork commands a strong female presence.
The pieces contain unique symbols, like flames, needles and thread, women in pink dresses and daring tattoos, which play a role in the majority of Polk’s creations. While Polk often leaves the meaning behind these symbols, and the repetition of the same characters, up to the audience’s interpretation, she did shed some light on one.
In art pieces like “I Won’t Go Back” and “I Remember Everything,” which will be on display during the show, a bold red thread immediately catches the viewer’s attention. It seemingly is attached to each woman not just physically but emotionally. Polk explains that the thread is associated with her mother because she was a gifted seamstress.
“The red thread is a symbol for my mother, and it also indicates the bloodline between the women in my family and the legacy of her,” she says.
Kathryn Polk’s “Narrative Lithographs” can be found at the Wally Workman Gallery from January 9 until February 2. Stop by and form your own interpretations of the artwork with the artist herself during a reception on opening night.