Kate Huffman uses patterns, mixed media to examine the female body

Artist Kate Huffman uses sculptures and paint as well as other materials in her pieces exhibited in the Kinetic Gallery (pictured above). Hauffman’s exhibit opened in the Kinetic Gallery on Sept. 26 and will be on display until Oct. 9. The pieces displayed convey aspects of the human female body (Xavier Delcid/photo editor).

Usually when people think about art, they don’t think about female organs. Artist Kate Huffman brings out this unique theme in her show “Little by Little,” which opened Sept. 26 and is being displayed in the Kinetic Gallery until Oct. 9. 

Huffman’s work is vibrant and symmetrical with recurring patterns. Her pieces are abstract, yet they contain a clear vision and represent universal themes. 

“I have been composing with watercolor and mixed media to portray landscapes that resemble cross sections of cells, musculature, map constructions that recall thought and female organs,” Huffman said.

This combination of media exceeds average conceptions of creativity. Huffman uses graphite, colored pencils, paint, sculptures and contrasting colors and patterns to display juxtapositions she sees in the body. 

“I want the work to talk about a particular type of tension resembling musculature within the body and hair,” Huffman said.

Political science and English double major first-year Maria Pawlak admired the themes of Huffman’s art. “It’s about the cells in the body and female organs and how they can be interpreted,” Pawlak said.

Often when analyzing art, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. In Huffman’s work, emotions and messages are strikingly clear. 

Though her works represent things that are very real and tangible, Huffman experiments with metaphysical components in her art.

“I would also consider [my art] to be close to the realm of the psychedelic,” Huffman said. “What I am painting, drawing and assembling has a tendency to illustrate and embody the organic.” 

At first glance, Huffman’s work does seem surreal and non-concrete, but as soon as the observer stops and looks for a deeper meaning, the message Huffman wants to convey becomes clear. 

Huffman isn’t afraid to stray from the two-dimensional boundaries of a canvas. Two pieces showcased are hand-sewn and sculpted chandeliers that go along with a theme of patterns in the human body. Just like sock-monkeys, these chandeliers are made from thread, stuffing and fabrics. Like most of Huffman’s artwork, the chandeliers are naturalistic to represent the female body. 

“I want the relationship between the works themselves and the use of thread to have an elevated interaction,” Huffman said.

Huffman succeeds in drawing those differences together to create the illusion of indefinite patterns in the human body while showing connectedness in mediums that would, without her imagination, have little reason to interact.

Huffman’s work goes deeper than just portraying the female organs. It aims to symbolize the tension within the female body. 

“I aim to do this through the use of uncommon, strange shapes and voids connected by thread or separated by forceful contours and spectrums,” Huffman said.

Perhaps the most unforgettable thing about Huffman’s pieces is her imagination. Her mind is without a doubt a change maker. She pushes the norms of art with conviction and intensity. 

The shapes and patterns in Huffman’s work are admittedly unusual, but the skill used to create detailed textures make her art a must-see on campus. The balance and imbalance between media, colors and subjects push the boundaries of traditional abstract art and portrayal of the female body.