Department of Fine Arts
Tel 519 888-4567 x36923
Instagram: @kate_short_art / @aft.schoolsnack.co. (an artists’ collective)
Kate Short combines print, photography, painting, drawing, and sewing to create immersive installations and intimate photographs that reflect material sensibilities and personal growth discovered through her connections to people, plants, and animals. Recently this has taken shape as Kate dresses her indoor plants in handmade clothing, and builds her plants supportive devices out of forks and chopsticks. She creates cyanotype prints, turmeric anthotypes, and computer printer scans that capture impressions of her body, her front yard’s plant life, and sprouts she grows in her bedroom. Kate Short is a student at the University of Waterloo, and is based in Kitchener Waterloo. She lives with four friends and their house cat Skylar.
I have been growing sprouts in my bedroom for three months now. I drag the sprouts in a dance across my computer printer scanner to create black and white images of their shapes, which get distorted in the process. I printed two of these scans on backlit and transparent film to use in a series of installation studies I call Bedroom Cohabitation Series. These studies allow me to play with the strategic and intuitive process of installation while working through concepts of care, and growth. What happens when we care too much, or too little? When I overgrow sprouts to the point where they become long curling strings or meaty bulbs that I pack into jars with vinegar for preservation? What happens when I scatter these wet sprouts across my bed and lay in the wet alongside them? When I pull the sprouts I have grown out of the plastic dish I rinse them in, they cling together—holding each other’s hands. I slowly pull them apart for my use. I am thinking about the ethics of this action when I perform it. My cohabitation with plants in this isolating moment in time has me thinking through what happens when the nature of my care changes, for my body and the living things around me.
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.