Katy Sayers Green
MA Art and Science - Central Saint Martins, 2023
Katy Sayers Green has witnessed a time of catastrophic damage to the natural world, seeing wildlife and habitats decimated. Through her artwork, Sayers Green shows care for the natural world and hope for healing the planet. In these paintings, she highlights the vulnerability of planet Earth as a tiny ‘lifeboat’ in the vast unknown cosmos. The smallest paintings attempt to get a bearing on where humans are right now and refer to both satellite imagery and to microscopic geological imagery.
The subsequent two collections explore ancient wisdom to further understand and interrogate our current planetary plight and where humans stand in relation to it.
The Story of Phaethon, a series including the largest paintings in this collection, is employed as an allegory for climate change. Sayers Green has selected points in the story where humanity’s future is in the balance but where the outcome is not yet certain.
The series of medium-sized paintings, The Coat of Many Colours, is named after the Biblical story of Joseph. Sayers Green refers to Midrashic commentaries in which the coat, hand painted with animals, birds and other life, was first worn by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. To the artist, the coat suggests a deep connection to the natural world and a literal mantle of interdependence and responsibility. As the story progresses, however, the same coat starts to take on different significance or use at different times and thereby resonates with our current ambivalent relationship to the environment; sometimes there is trust between humanity and other life forms, and sometimes this trust is betrayed.
Sayers Green’s artwork could be described as a form of figurative abstraction for which the starting points are environmental themes and the observable world. Then at a certain point, the visual aspect takes over and the paintings become objects with their own momentum, yet containing the power of the original intention.
"I would like audience to be moved by what they see, in a visceral way and according to the power of the image. This might then lead them to enquire about the themes and a more sustainable alternative way of being and living."