September 2 - October 14, 2023
From Ivester Contemporary:
“Ivester Contemporary is proud to present, I am a Clay Hill, a solo exhibition of new work by Kalee Appleton. The photographs in the exhibition, I am a Clay Hill, were captured during an artist residency in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany during the summer of 2023. Here, an untouched and idyllic expanse of picturesque hay pastures, fields of wildflowers, and olive groves stretches for miles. Amidst this bountiful landscape, a striking contrast emerges in the form of vast clay hills devoid of any vegetation—a lunar-like terrain dotting the rolling hills of Tuscany.
A statement from the artist:
“The profound connection with these barren hills was immediate and deeply personal, as it resonated with my own experiences of grief, having endured a pregnancy loss just months before. Like those desolate hills, I find myself surrounded by the richness of life yet unable to nurture and sustain it within myself. Just as the clay hills exhibit a surface that appears unyielding and hardened, women like me, who face fertility challenges, often bear an external façade of strength, concealing emotions seen as unfit for everyday conversation. I use a historical photographic process known as cyanotype to portray the likeness of the clay hills. Through this artistic technique, the images are printed in a monochromatic Persian blue, chosen to evoke the emotional depth these hills symbolize.
Alternatively, the wildflowers growing among the clay hills, with their vibrant and varying colors, left an enduring impact on me. Flowers have long been associated with the cycle of life and the regenerative power of nature. The circular composition in each photograph serves as a visual metaphor for the continuum of life, echoing the cyclical patterns observed in nature. This arrangement speaks to the inherent rhythm of fertility—birth, growth, decay, and rebirth—and the profound sense of renewal and transformation that comes with it.
Through this artistic exploration, I seek to contrast the abundant beauty of Tuscany’s surrounding details with these barren clay hills. Through this comparison, the artwork becomes a visual reflection of the complex emotions where fertility and barrenness coexist, and hope and sorrow intertwine. I am a Clay Hill aims to embrace the delicate balance between life’s vitality and its vulnerabilities, encouraging a deeper understanding of the shared human experience of loss and hope.”
Kalee Appleton is a photography-based artist and assistant professor of Photography at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. Originally from Hobbs, New Mexico, Appleton attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock and received a B.F.A. (2005) in photography. Shortly after graduation, she worked as a corporate and aviation photographer, and she later attended Texas Woman’s University in Denton, where she received an M.F.A. (2014) in art. Appleton’s work deals with digital technologies and their effects on society, as well as with the nature of the medium of photography. She has had her work highlighted in various print and online forums, including DMagazine, Glasstire, and Lens Culture. Appleton exhibits her work at Ivester Contemporary in Austin, TX. She has exhibited nationally at Filter Photo, Chicago, Illinois; Fotofest, Houston, Texas; Houston Center for Photography, and the Hilliard Museum of Art in Lafayette, Louisiana.”
Reception: September 2, 2023 | 7–9 pm
916 Springdale Rd Bldg 2, Suite 107 Austin, TX 78702
Austin, 78702 TexasGet directions