Department of Fine Arts
Tel 519 888-4567 x36923
Kaitlyn Lopes is a fourth-year Fine Arts student at the University of Waterloo, who lives and works in Kitchener, Ontario with her family. She is a mixed media artist who primarily focuses on both delicate watercolour paintings, and pencil or pen on paper. Her work explores themes of feminism, female domesticity and labour, underscoring the connection between the wife or mother figure, labour, and the natural world.
Throughout her experience as a student artist thus far, Kaitlyn has taken part in three group exhibitions in the Artery (a student-run gallery at the University of Waterloo). Currently, Kaitlyn is working on her fourth-year Fine Arts thesis.
Much of today’s society is shaped by stereotypes which envelope us into categories that we may not completely fit into, or at all, for that matter. Females are continuous victims of this labelling, as they are often shown as weak, domestic beings without a strong presence in the workforce. Oftentimes, however, the labour completed in the household is overlooked as legitimate labour and aids in this degrading view of women.
In response to this, my work explores the stereotype given to women about their connection to the natural world, and the various actions performed by my mother daily. This series combines images of flowers symbolic of mother’s love, affection, and care with images of my mother performing a breadth of activities in a collage style to demonstrate the multidimensionality of the mother figure.
In this first piece of my “Mother Nature” series, titled Mother’s Care, I layer a drawing of my mother’s hand holding my sister’s overtop of a watercolour painting of tulips. This action demonstrates a moment of care that my mother provides to all three of her children on a daily basis, reflecting the symbolism of the pink tulips. I have intentionally created within this piece in a monochromatic way in order to showcase the connection between the symbolism of the tulips and my mother’s action, but also the female body’s relations with the natural world.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.