Kathleen Laybourn

2012 RAM Artist Fellowship Winner

Artist Statement

More Than Icons: Theresa Avila, Billie Holiday, Diana Spencer, and Joan of Arc
Culture creates its definition of who is to be considered "iconic" by assigning value that is based on physical attributes, talent, social status or desirability.  As definitive representations of the time in which they lived, iconic persons become larger that life and oftentimes lose their humanness in the process.  Their emblematic status prompts us to forget their victories, struggles and pain.

Various subcultures have a way of manipulating the meaning of these lives to advance a particular point of view.  For example, religious traditions will focus on attributes that vastly vary from the media whose pursuit of "news" may willfully misrepresent an individual in order to influence the public's perception.  And trends are created by "experts" to guide behavior and influence almost every aspect of our lives.

This body of work is an invitation for the viewer to ponder more than the immediate and fixed conceptions about the four women represented in this exhibition in an effort to reconnect with the vulnerable and fragile nature of flesh and blood in light of the brave, tragic or triumphant lives lived.

Biography
I grew up in Kenosha and was the last child of a Catholic working class family, and attended local area schools.  As a child I remember drawing constantly and learned how to draw by tracing the outlines of the pictures in my coloring books.  This began my intense desire to make pictures and to eventually study art when I got older.

In 1979 I moved to California, and a couple of years later, met classical artist, Ra Aryamitr; I studied with him for three years.  Through his instruction, I received the formal training I desired and began to understand what it meant to be an artist and the necessity for establishing a standard of excellence in the work.  

I received my Master of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from the University of New Mexico and was awarded the Raymond Jonson Fellowship for artistic and academic excellence.

Currently, I am involved in community art education and enjoy continuing the instructional methods modeled to me by my mentor, Ra, many years ago.

Visit klaybourn.tumblr.com for more information.

Kathleen Laybourn
A Murder of Crows, 2012-2013
Mason line, metal, clay, and acrylic
72 x 60 x 60 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Kathleen Laybourn
A Doe(detail), 2013
Encaustic on wood
80 x 100 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Kathleen Laybourn
Heaven Opened for Theresa (detail), 2012-2013
Wood, clay, and acrylic
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Kathleen Laybourn
Heaven Opened for Theresa (detail), 2012-2013
Wood, clay, and acrylic
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Kathleen Laybourn
In Memory of Joan, 2010
Paper, vinyl, acrylic, charcoal, and found objects
96 x 54 x 54 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist