Using a recurring visual language, printmaker Cathie Kayser’s work explores notions of loss: the loss of loved ones, the loss of direction, and the loss of balance. Both the result of careful planning and accidental play, Kayser’s work uses imagery of birds, maps, and nets as signifiers to chart and reveal personal and universal concerns regarding stability, freedom, and happenstance.
I am a print artist. I work with various printmaking techniques—lithography, etching, relief, and monotype. Over the last several years I have assembled a library of images: my drawings and photographs, maps, charts and graphs, abstract textures. On any given day I walk into my studio, pull multiple images from my library, use an existing matrix or create a new one, and juxtapose them on the paper to make new compositions.
If I have been thinking about my Dad, I can pull a chart from a correspondence course he took long ago. If I am feeling lost, I can pull out a litho plate with a character I call Psychopomp and add him to a previously collaged map. When I feel caught up in the minutiae of life, I can just play: ink up a plate, drape a net across it, run it through the press, and see what happens next.
A thread runs through my body of work. The thread is loss: loss of loved ones, loss of direction, loss of balance. This thread unites my work. I hope those who see my work pick up a loose end and weave their own stories about my work.