Purity Paradigm: Kathy Oke’s Cave Shines This Weekend At Eastern Edge
Opening at 7:00pm on Saturday, March 14th, 2015, Kathy Oke’s installation Cave is going on display at St. John’s Eastern Edge Gallery.
Cave is a light-based installation that proves that both physical and metaphysical purity is non-existent. By disassembling white light, the colour most closely associated with purity, with your body Oke’s art challenges personified purity.
Oke is a St. Phillips, Newfoundland, multi-disciplinary artist who — after graduating from the MUN Grenfell Campus in 2013 — is now focusing on her career as a visual artist. We spoke with Oke earlier this week to hear what she had to say about her installation because who better to contextualize a work of art than the artist themselves:
“It’s entirely a light-based installation, except there will be the words “Good Little Girl.” A reference to the kind of culture that breeds the idea of purity and teaches little girls that they should be pure and if they’re not careful they might become tainted — and that tainted equals worthless,” says Oke. “I think it’s pretty common for little girls to become indoctrinated with that type of idea. I still get asked to do things like a good little girl and it’s so infuriating to hear.”
“The name was inspired by Plato’s cave allegory … It’s supposed to be addressing that purity doesn’t exist in reality so it shouldn’t be expected of individuals,” says Oke. “In art school I started thinking about feminism and why I should call myself a feminist. With both of these things brewing in my mind for a while, I found a way that they could come together — through experimentation with creating and deconstructing white light and understanding what white light is and what we are actually seeing when we see the colour white. The project is also about self-exploration and self-discovery.”
“I would have loved to hear a different opinion or perspective when I was growing up, someone to tell me that my life wasn’t going to be ruined if I make a mistake or that if something happens to me that is out of my control I can’t dwell on that and blame myself.”
Be sure to brave the cold and check out Oke’s opening this weekend. If by chance you can’t make it but would like to interact with the piece, the installation will be in the Rogue Gallery at Eastern Edge until April 1st.