INTERVIEW: Kathryn Fanelli Talks About Her Work Featured In The Sciart Center Exhibition "The New Unconscious"
By Danielle Kalamaras
Kathryn Fanelli explores the implicit nature of language through deep meditation in her paintings. Her work is featured in the virtual exhibition The New Unconscious currently on view on SciArt Center's website. The artist took the time to speak to me about her work and what the 'new unconscious' means to her as an artist:
Danielle Kalamaras: How do you define the "New Unconscious"?
Kathryn Fanelli: I think what is new is not the forms in which we collect experiences, memories, and needs, but rather an evolution of our ability to access unconscious information through conscious awareness. We are all inquiring more deeply into what consciousness may be. The unconscious has it’s own language, different for each of us. Consciousness is a tool that can help interpret this language, and makes knowledge of both the self and the other more accessible. I see the unconscious as a primordial mind attempting to create balance and resolution. This works on both a deeply personal and a collective level.
click to continue this interview:
What part does this unconscious play in your work?
Dreams are the strongest connection to the unconscious, and I utilize them in my work. I’ve kept dream records since age 13. I look at the contents both objectively and subjectively, and appreciate the surprising honesty that comes through in dreams. It’s an ongoing language that constructs patterns that change as I grow. The language contains not only ideas but solutions, inspiration and guidance. Lucid dreaming, when one is fully conscious during the dream state, is also something I’ve been able to do since I was a teenager. These practices train the mind to become more sensitive and aware.
Lucid dreaming is similar to wakeful meditation while asleep. Parts of the brain are disabled and enabled simultaneously, causing shifts in one’s awareness. After some time of developing this, I became disinterested in making art that is ego-determined. In art practice I draw from mind states that attempt to relinquish the notion of ego while maintaining an active curiosity about materials. When you experiment with something in a lucid dream, such as simply noticing what’s happening, the results are often beyond your imagination. I like that, because it comes from an innocence.
How does the unconscious affect your everyday perception and behavior?
I’m generally aware, both consciously and somewhat unconsciously, depending on what I’m doing. I prefer not to get caught up vascillating between the two. When meditating, I’m paying attention to what comes through moment to moment, and in that sphere I may meet the unconscious. In the studio I call upon both, depending upon where things are going or needing to be.
What does "SciArt" mean to you?
SciArt joins creative aesthetics to systems of knowledge. I’m excited for and curious about it’s future explorations.
Kathryn Fanelli's work is featured in the virtual exhibition The New Unconscious curated by Danielle Kalamaras. This exhibition features the work of 30 SciArt Center members. Click here to see all the featured artwork and to learn more about each artist.
The New Unconscious pop-up exhibition will be held October 2-4 with an opening on Friday, October 2 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Live music and refreshments will be served.
The New Unconscious
The SciArt Center at Creations Gallery
89 Ave. C
New York, NY 10009