The Tashiro-Kaplan Building in downtown Seattle houses a variety of artist-run galleries and artist residences. 4Culture anchors a corner of the building, providing experimental gallery space and other artist services. This month, Kathryn Thibault’s installation “The Encroaching Field” leads the viewer into and through the space following the meticulously handcut vellum and other components, all assembled intimately close to the walls. Repetitive elements such as tiny birds tie together the parts of the installation, which function as vignettes in a narrative along the walls.
The narrative portrayed is a kind of discussion with the viewer about the nature of space. The vignettes are like bulges in the narrative, the traveling elements being the brief traverse of humdrum existence before the next complexly intense moment. The overall precision and repetition of the work presents a calm assurance during this careful exploration out of flat, two-dimensional experience into full 3-D presence.
In one vignette, “Dialogue”, 2018, repeated tiny images of two pairs of arms reach to connect at the elbows, facing each other in a loose rhythm around a circle.
In another, a scatter plot is suggested by the angle drawn from the lower left, like x-axis and y-axis.
In yet another, the mechanical, flattened shape of an airplane supports dangling 3-D hands, while around it tiny, precisely cut birds fly freely.