Kate Couturier

UMass Dartmouth 2020 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Katelyn Couturier working in studio

Biography

Kate Couturier is an interdisciplinary artist and designer interested in identity and body activism. She earned her BA in Communications and Foreign Language with focuses in Film & Media Arts, Spanish and Graphic Design from American University and, in 2015, studied photography at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Kate runs her own branding, web design and photography business and maintains her artistic practice using photography, book arts, papermaking, sculpture and installation to explore and challenge cultural misconceptions of the fat body through reinterpreting relationships between food, fat and figure in the face of a thin-obsessed, diet-centric health and beauty culture.

Statement

My work is about fat: fat the shape, the texture, the mass, the body, and the identity. A fascination with the function of culture along with my struggles to understand my relationship with my body in the aftermath of an eating disorder drive my exploration of fat identity. My personal journey learning to truly see and trust my body within the context of a culture that condemns fatness, has become a practice in unlearning the internalized stigmas diet culture perpetuates. I am still in the process of relearning to celebrate food, fat and figure, but through this work I am recognizing within myself and others the amazing capability, beauty and strength of the unaltered, unashamed, unapologetic fat body. My artwork is a reflection and celebration of this process.

The health, beauty and diet industries and the cultural constructs around the body that these industries create and uphold are primary sources of inspiration in my artwork as I explore what it means to inhabit a fat body in a thin obsessed, diet-centric world. Through fragmented paper bodies I confront issues of consumption, notions of beauty, and fat stigma, reject the idea of the magical default body our culture sells as a fantasy ticket to happiness and success, criticize the means by which we are told we can achieve this body (aka diet culture), and challenge a fatphobic health care system. I intend to break down the cultural biases and misconceptions around the fat body and for my work to serve as a reminder that every single body is worthy of nourishment, respect, happiness, and love.

Contact

couturier.katelyn@gmail.com
www.katecouturier.com
@katelyncouturier

I Don’t Diet (Vinyl Detail), 2020, cast paper sculpture and vinyl installation.
Because My Body has the Right to Take Up as Much Space as it Needs (I Am Fat, I Am Healthy, I Am Beautiful), 2019, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose and my stress map post-it notes, 24” x 25.5”.
Because My Body has the Right to Take Up as Much Space as it Needs (I Am Fat, I Am Healthy, I Am Beautiful), 2019, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose and my stress map post-it notes, 24” x 25.5”.
Fat Bodies Starve, Too, 2020, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose, twisting balloons, 52” x 38" x 30".
Fat Bodies Starve, Too (back detail), 2020, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose, twisting balloons, 52” x 38" x 30".
Fat Bodies Starve, Too (Day 4 deflation progression), 2020, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose, twisting balloons, 52” x 38" x 30".
Fat Bodies Starve, Too (Day 9 deflation progression), 2020, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose, twisting balloons, 52” x 38" x 30".
Fat Bodies Starve, Too (Day 9 fallen balloon detail), 2020, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose, twisting balloons. 52” x 38" x 30".

Slideshow

  1. I Don’t Diet, 2020, cast paper sculpture and vinyl installation.
  2. Because My Kale Diet Body is Exactly as Fat, A Lot More Exhausted, and Very Sick. (Kale is Not the Answer), 2019, cast paper: 8 hour abaca, methylcellulose and kale, 18”x 18”.
  3. Because My Kale Diet Body is Exactly as Fat, A Lot More Exhausted, and Very Sick. (Kale is Not the Answer) (detail), 2019, cast paper: 8 hour abaca, methylcellulose and kale, 18”x 18”.
  4. Because Every Body is a Celebration, 2019, cast paper: 8 hour abaca, cotton, methylcellulose and rainbow sprinkles, 26” x 24.5”
  5. Because Every Body is a Celebration (detail), 2019, cast paper: 8 hour abaca, cotton, methylcellulose and rainbow sprinkles, 26” x 24.5”.
  6. I Don’t Diet (Title Detail), 2020, cast paper sculpture and vinyl installation.
  7. Because There is No Size Limit on My Right to Rest or Binge Watch Netflix While I Eat Brownies, 2019, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose, cocoa powder, brownie brittle. 26”x 54.5”.
  8. I Don’t Diet (Vinyl Detail), 2020, cast paper sculpture and vinyl installation.
  9. Because Diet Pills, Adderall and Painkillers Made Starvation Sustainable and Invisible Under the Guise of a Fat Girl on a Diet (Lithium and Food Saved My Life), 2020, cast paper: 10 hour abaca, methylcellulose, the diet pills, pain medications, antibiotics, pseudotumor medication, and ADD medications that destroyed my body, and the anti-depressants that saved my life, 28” x 37”.
  10. Because Diet Pills, Adderall and Painkillers Made Starvation Sustainable and Invisible Under the Guise of a Fat Girl on a Diet (Lithium and Food Saved My Life) (detail), 2020, cast paper: 10 hour abaca, methylcellulose, the diet pills, pain medications, antibiotics, pseudotumor medication, and ADD medications that destroyed my body, and the anti-depressants that saved my life, 28” x 37”.
  11. Because, Doctor, A Single Number is No Indication of my Vaginal, Reproductive or Sexual Health (I Won’t Get on Your Scale), 2019, cast paper: abaca, methylcellulose and freeze-dried strawberries, 18” x 22”.
  12. I Don’t Diet (Vinyl Detail), 2020, cast paper sculpture and vinyl installation.

More Information



Departments College of Visual Performing Arts, Date: Year 2020, Degree Type MFA, Gallery Exhibitions, Gallery University Art Gallery