Kathryn Kain’s large light filled studio at Hunter’s Point Shipyard in San Francisco offers the space for painting, printmaking, and mixed-media collage. It is a place that supports her love of drawing offering found and scavenged images that combine and weave into unique prints. Recently she has focused on drawing the plants from a hillside near her studio that is housed in an abandoned military housing neighborhood which had been untouched for 25 years. Targeted for redevelopment, the hillside was a secret place off limits to all working in the shipyard. The impending demolition of the old houses and wild gardens challenged Kain to spend as much time as possible visiting and collecting branches from the various plants and vine covered buildings. These recent art works reflect an inner recognition of the silent, abandoned and very private paradise offered by the old fruit trees and the birds flying in the canopies of this hidden Eden.
She is fascinated with portrayals of women in popular media, especially vintage Americana. Three fruits: an apple, a quince or a pomegranate have been called the original fruit of temptation in the biblical story of the fall from Paradise – these became a starting point for drawings and collages based on the myth of Eve and its pagan precursors. What followed was a deepening of the ritualistic practice of drawing natural objects at close range. For Kathryn, the drawing is a meditation; the objects become receptacles of feelings.