FH: What are your primary sources of inspiration, when it comes to your visual work?
AK: Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern aesthetics, tribal mark making, esoteric symbology, graphic textiles, interior design, old mechanical devices, carnivalesque costumes, ceremonial garments...
FH: How would you describe your aesthetic in your own words?
AK: Anchored ethereal explorations that are feminine, rough-hewn, riotous yet measured, geometric, hard-edged, architectural, and oddly symmetrical.
FH: You sometimes start a piece with asemic writing, which is fascinating but isn’t something many people are familiar with— could you speak to that a little bit? How you discovered it, how it jumpstarts and/or shapes your work?
AK: Asemic writing is basically pretend writing. The marks themselves have no specific meaning. When I was a kid, I would sit and “write” lines of “cursive” on paper. I didn’t know how to write yet, but I loved the flow of pen on paper, and I guess it lit up some part of my mind to make these meditative marks on the page.
In my studio practice, before I even start painting, I get centered and ask myself what I want to know on the deepest level. I distill this answer into a few words and use this as the prompt for making the first marks on the canvas. For example, when my husband had open heart surgery, I started the canvas I was working on at the time with the question, “How long can you stay?”
Using a brush and paint, I “write” the statement or questions with letters -- but they are backwards, cursive, big to small, upper case, lower case, all over the place, overlapping… This method not only gives me a starting point and begins the dialog for the painting process, it also makes a rich chaotic first layer that contains a theme to explore. It’s the roots, the subconscious of the piece, as well as a bridge for psyche to crossover into the seen.