Reception: Thursday, February 27, 2020
My work is about fat: fat the shape, the texture, the mass, the body, and the identity. I am a designer who loves exploring medium and material including photography, bookmaking, paper making, sculpture and installation. My personal goals to learn how 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 our health, beauty, and diet cultures perpetuate.
The combination of my long-term fascination with the function of culture and my struggles to understand my relationship with my body in the aftermath of an eating disorder, has led to explore the fat feminine form. The health, beauty and diet industries and the cultural constructs around the body that these industries uphold are my primary sources of inspiration as I explore what it means to inhabit a fat body in a thin obsessed, diet-centric world. I aim to question the false notion that every body is made to fit the same default that our culture sells as some kind of fantasy ticket to happiness and success, criticize the means by which we are told we can achieve this body and claim that reward (dangerous fad diets based in extreme restriction and obsessive exercise), and speak out against a fatphobic health care system. I want to challenge the cultural biases and misconceptions around the fat body and show others that every kind of body is worthy of nourishment, celebration and the right to take up as much space as it requires–there is no size limit on happiness, success, or the right to love one’s body.
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 that process.
Kate Couturier is a an interdisciplinary artist and designer interested in exploring and challenging cultural misconceptions of the fat body. She uses photography, paper making, sculpture and installation to reinterpret relationships between food, fat and figure, exploring and challenging cultural misconceptions of the body. Kate earned her BA in Communications and Foreign Language with focuses in Film and Media Arts, Spanish and Graphic Design from American University. She has also studied photography at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and currently runs her own design business and is an MFA Candidate in Visual Design at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.