Girls, Uninterrupted - Maine College of Art

Kat Miller '19

Art provides a platform for conversation and conversation is vital in the beginning to change the world.

Kat Miller, a junior in MECA’s Photography Program, has been working on a series entitled On the Cusp of Womanhood. Her work is featured in Girls, Interrupted, a three-day, all-female exhibition in London presenting uncensored works of illustration, photography, paintings, and sculptures created by 19 stereotype-defying artists, from underground and emerging art scenes all over the world. The exhibit is hosted by Creative Debuts, a platform for emerging artists that seeks to make art more accessible.

Kat’s photography uses dreamy colors to examine the juxtaposition between adulthood and child-like youthfulness. She seeks to capture young women’s tensions in themes of abilities and nostalgia for youth, as well as an idealistic perfect world.

“If women will not be given a place in art, we will create our own. This is our space, for women to show completely uninterrupted.” —Florence Given, Curator

Q & A – Brick Magazine

The following Q & A with Kat is reposted from Brick Magazine.

How/do you think art can change the world?
Art provides a platform for conversation and conversation is vital in the beginning to change the world. With social media, art can now spread across the globe in a matter of minutes. We are currently able to see artists creating from their own experiences that are entirely different from our own; that to me is so powerful. It is our job to try and understand the different experiences that we may not be able to relate too. Art is a beautiful way of bringing these different experiences together.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2018?
My biggest hope for the New Year is to become more connected with the feminine energy that surrounds all of us. I want to travel and connect with other artists from all over the world. And of course, read some good books and drink more water!

Q & A – Refinery29

The following Q & A with Kat is reposted from Refinery29

What are the main themes in your art?
I’m very interested in the juxtaposition between stepping into adulthood while remaining youthful and childlike. My photos attempt to capture the tension young women feel from their inability to sexualize their body without remaining childish and their nostalgia for their idealistic fantasy of a more perfect, virtuous world.

Tell me a bit about your piece on show…
For a couple of years, I was photographing my three best friends while they were in their last year of secondary school. I was struggling with the idea of becoming a woman when I still wanted to bathe [in] the girlhood I had created. When we all moved away from each other, I began photographing acquaintances. It was time to introduce new perspectives of womanhood into my work. I met with the beautiful Zahara on an early summer morning. Before this particular photo was taken, we had been talking and becoming more comfortable around each other. I had her lay on the grass to display her curves in an unconventional way. This was the photograph that felt like a new direction in my work. I am only in the beginning of navigating this transition.

How much does your gender feed into the work you do?
My art tends to be a personal navigation of what being a woman means to me. I am certainly in the transition between girlhood and womanhood and it often feels confusing. I want to be a woman but more than ever am realising how magical being a young girl was. My work often allows me to create a space where I have both of those things.

What does having your art uncensored mean to you?
How free I am to be a woman who is photographing other women without male restrictions. It creates more vulnerability for both myself as the creator and for the person who is willing and wanting to be photographed.

“I think people can be shocked to see artists making work about women that isn’t for the purpose of the male gaze”.

Why do you think art for and by women still has the power to provoke shock?
I think people can be shocked to see artists making work about women that isn’t for the purpose of the male gaze. Women are so often manipulated for consumers, to sell a product or appeal to specific ideals. Women making art about the taboos of womanhood are only shocking to those who refuse to accept these ‘taboos’ as normal and beautiful.

Why do you think there’s a need for all-female art shows?
They’re so powerful and needed after centuries of male-driven art scenes. However, having a strong collaboration between all genders in the art world is equally as important.

Do you think now is an exciting time for women in the art world?
Absolutely. Now more than ever, women are beginning to feel more comfortable to stand up for themselves and many female artists are taking powerful and effective stances through their art.

View more of Kat’s work here.