Graduate Studies, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
Georgia Southern University, MFA
Kim Keats strives to select trees that have fallen due to a natural occurrence. In addition, she prunes selectively contributing to the renewability of a tree. Palmetto roots are harvested from palm trees fallen due to tidal erosion. Kim Keats has always spent an incredible amount of time in the woods. Daily walks in the woods continually provide inspiration for her pieces.
The objects that I make are intended to honor or memorialize the origin of the materials from which they are made. I primarily use bark and twigs from a variety of highland trees along with driftwood and palmetto root from coastal habitats. Harvesting bark and palmetto root is a considerable part of the overall process and is seasonable and laborious. The bark is manipulated while wet and sewn together with waxed linen thread. Combined interlacing techniques are employed to weave the palmetto root and waxed linen thread onto the bark or driftwood structures. Materials such as twigs, bones, and stones are added to create contrast. Objects are also constructed and incorporated to create areas of interest that support the visual concepts. The tree has become a personal icon and my work reflects the influences of a number of indigenous cultures that have a tradition of using natural materials. Sharing in this celebration of materials, techniques and imagery has made me feel as though I am part of a universal heritage.