Kara Taylor | Everything I Felt and Heard
For the month of November, Kara Taylor is welcomed to Eclectica Contemporary to show her solo exhibition, Everything I Felt and Heard, which reflects on her experience working creatively in South Africa as well as on her childhood and the privileges she experienced in the USA. American-born artist, Kara Taylor graduated with a Fine Arts degree in 1997 from the Maine College of Art. Having established a love of art and a recognition of her interpersonal skills, Kara opened her own gallery, the Kara Taylor Gallery in 2000 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where she exhibits her own work.
Kara grew up on an island, in a small town in North- East America. Her childhood was protected from exposure to weighty topics like cultural conflict and social injustice. Having grown up with religion, Kara established a sense of belonging to tradition and ritual. As a child she understood this belonging to be intimately tied to her existence in the landscape she came from. This interdependent relationship to herself and landscape manifested subconsciously throughout her life. In search of this, Kara has traveled extensively from India to South East Asia, New Zealand, Hawaii, the Caribbean, South America and through much of Europe before living part-time in South Africa for the past few years. It is evident that her experiences traveling have shaped her ideology and influenced the philosophical narratives seen throughout her work.
Having visited South Africa a few times before beginning this body of work in December 2017, Kara recognized that many people in the country don’t have the luxury of cultivating the expansive space that feels so crucial to her being. Themes of landscape, space and self-reflection have always been integral to her practice. Thus, this body of work addresses her experience as an outsider in South Africa, confronting her personal history and influences while also reflecting on the country’s torn history and tenuous healing journey. Layering her negotiation of belonging within her work by incorporating questionings and reflections, this body of work acknowledges the binaries of how we often interpret locality.
To contain the exhibition and it’s themes as a personal offering, the works are not located within any particular place, person or movement. Rather, the works form evidence of a personal philosophy and utilise signifiers from across boarders and conversations. She additionally makes references to familiarities from her own background, through which Kara questions notions of belonging. Specifically, how we might belong to a single country, society, culture and/or religion while also holding the potential to exist in multiplicity.
Using iconography like nationally recognized fabrics layered in her work, Kara idealistically hopes for a kind of bipartisanship across narratives, histories and personal contexts. By overlapping European and African textiles, she builds these layers – creating a pattern of connectivity. Kara deconstructs cultural patterning through the physical integration of different shapes, colours and textures, placing them alongside each other as a progressive metaphor for cultural diversity, integration and unification.
Everything I Felt and Heard is an ambitious project undertaken by Kara Taylor and presented in the Eclectica Contemporary Gallery. It is the result of months of working, years of contemplation and a lifetime of searching, questioning and making.