Cassie Normandy White’s prints stem from a playful obsession with form and color, and an affectionate fascination with the organic moments inherent to the medium. She cuts pieces of fabric into petal-like shapes that she then individually “seasons” and prints to create biomorphic forms that are a combination of aesthetic intention and unforeseen outcomes.
Her process of printing with fabrics began during her internship at Flatbed Press in Austin and was born largely from a desire to work in a larger scale. She began with copperplate etching and enjoyed the careful methodology that the medium requires. Later, White found that working with fabric freed her from the painstaking technicality of etching and allowed her to set up parameters for a variety of possibilities to present themselves organically, something that is now integral to her process.
During our interview, I asked White if she thought about botany while she printed, and was unsurprised to find that plants inform her creative process. She grew up gardening and currently works at a nursery, and she attributes a similar preciousness to plants as she does to her prints. She enjoys paying attention to plants, “how needy they are, and what color combinations create their personalities”.
I also noticed that she used “seasoning,” an unusual term, when she described inking her fabric pieces. She sees inking as an act of accumulating layers of something, and the collection of colors as the flavors of her prints. Her print series Populations documents how the fabric and ink behaved through out her printing process. Each piece of fabric in the composition is inked several times on both sides, and goes through the press about 8-12 times before she prints the final product. White is attracted to the idea of characters within a community in which each member has a distinct identity, but one is not more significant than the others. Each of these prints begets the other, recalling genetic growth.
There is a sentimentality to her process and product that reveals itself in the way she names her prints as ink babies and populations. She also keeps all of the fabric pieces that she prints with, usually cutting them down and repurposing them for new prints. When the ink dries, these fragments print with a different texture that she relishes. While she doesn’t want her prints to be too referential to real life, it is clear that she appreciates each print as an individual. She doesn’t sell her Population prints separately because she doesn’t like to break them up, “they are like a family.”
Cassie Normandy White currently resides in Corpus Christi, where she works from her home studio as well as in the print shop at Texas A&M. She completed her BFA in Printmaking at Texas State University, and has exhibited at Bowerbird Gallery in San Marcos, Blue Orange Gallery in Houston, and The Pump Project in Austin. She has an upcoming exhibition opening in December at Georgetown Art Center with former professor and fellow printmaker Jeffrey Dell.
Written by Julie Keselman.