For those who saw the Winter One Acts, you’ll remember senior Kate Yoder as the writer of “Reality TV Island.” If you read the Funnies page, you’ve seen how proficiently this English writing and art double-major exhibits her love of humor. “I really like wordplay and making puns,” said Yoder.You may be less familiar with the other realms into which Yoder’s creativity extends. On March 17, Yoder will publish a collection of her poetry and creative non-fiction titled “Bonehouse.” Yoder describes her writing style as “sarcastic and a little ridiculous.” When asked the theme of her book, she says that it is the same as that of her upcoming art show. “It’s about memory and how that changes over time.”
Yoder has been exploring the theme of memory intensively over the past semester. Her focus has landed particularly on memories from her time spent in Cambodia on SST during the spring of 2013.
One way that Yoder has sifted through her memories of SST is by re-reading each entry of her SST journal on the evening of its two-year anniversary. Then she writes and creates artwork to represent her reflection.
Yoder has a routine for processing memories through artwork. In this pattern, Yoder says “I have created something new. No one else in the world really has the same process.” When Yoder begins a piece, she choses a moment or location, “starting with something real,” paints the scene in watercolor, and then uses multimedia collage techniques to “layer and abstract.”
Yoder says “each time I work with [a memory], I change it a little bit.” Yoder’s process is representative of the way that time obscures human memories, adding layers of interpretation dependent on context.
In her collages, Yoder employs “teabags, watercolor, acrylic paint, burlap, screen wire, banana plank, papyrus, thread, charcoal and chalk.” Yoder describes the physical weaving together of these media as a “cathartic experience.”
Yoder also incorporates her love of words and language into her collages. If you look closely at her work, you will see patterns of what she calls “Khmer-inspired script.” She says “It’s what I remember of Khmer.”
In the future, Yoder does not see herself as a full-time artist or writer. Rather, she plans to travel and then pursue graduate school, possibly in the fields of cultural anthropology and linguistics.
This summer, she will be “working on organic farms in France and Italy.” She plans to take along “watercolor paper, a journal and probably a nice pen,” so that she can continue to pursue her creative habits.
Yoder’s senior art show will begin with a reception this coming Sunday, March 8 from 2-4 p.m. Located in the Hershberger Gallery, the show will display Yoder’s work alongside that of five other senior art majors: Aaron Bontrager, Alma Miller, Alia Munley, Ida Short, and Benjamin Thapa. And if you’re interested in seeing more of Yoder’s humorous side, look for more details about her upcoming comedy Hour After.