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Katharina Mörth: "For me, art means confrontation, process, empathy and sometimes struggle."

Katharina Mörth is a passionate sculptor and forms up to life-size sculptures in metal, wood and stone. In addition to her sculptural main work, two-dimensional works are also created. She is an artist who knows her media and knows how to use her craftsmanship, who is not satisfied with the status quo, but repeatedly explores the limits – of what can be represented and of the material.

Katharina Mörth, “Open Mind”, 50x36x40 cm.

Dear Katharina Mörth, can you introduce yourself to us? How did you meet the art of sculpture and how did you decide to work on it? 

Already as a child I was interested in art. My grandfather (father side) liked to take me in the museum and at the age of seven I did my first oil painting with him. My mother’s family where stonemason over generations and in the age of 15, I tried to make my first small stone sculpture in my aunts company. Also the grandmother of my best friend at school was woodcarver. So I was surrounded by handicraft and creativity.

What does the sculpture mean to you? 

To work in the medium of sculpture is a way to express myself, in a way where I have no words for. The sculpture itself is than the result, of this special moment being one with the material or also struggling with myself and the surroundings. 

In your works, cocoon-like formations, net-like structures and organic surfaces draw attention. What do these forms mean to you?

I think the main topic of all together can be called boundaries... Boundaries of the material, the boundaries to the outside, personal boundaries... Evolution from ourselves and the connection to the outside world. I like to just leave the hull of the material. What stays if the inside is gone and if it is there is it reflected on our outside or is this just facade?

You use very different materials in your sculpture works: stone, wood, metal... What does the variety of materials in sculpture mean to you? 

Every materials has it one boundaries to work with and so it gives me different possibilities to express my thoughts or feelings. Also after my education as a woodcarver I needed distance from the things I learned and found in metal a fresh way to express myself. After a few years I turned back to wood, but only with a different working technique. Instead of carving chisels I mainly work with big machines like chainsaw and grinder.

Katharina Mörth, “La Vie”, Marble, 200x80x60 cm.

Your sculptures are usually exhibited in open spaces. Is there any special reason for this? How collectors are interested in your sculptures? 

If I make bigger works it is naturally that they also stay outside. Exhibition in open space in general for me is a nice way also to connect to people who would not go to gallery. But especially in the times what we had known with social distance and the rules where inside events have been forbidden it was a good feeling to have some works outside and still have the opportunity to connect somehow with others.

In addition to your sculptures, you have photography and painting works. What is it like to work in three different art fields? 

For me these are not so different fields. One is connected to the other. I started to use photography as fast idea sketches or just to catch color without to try to represent something as a base for sculptures and paintings. No matter what I do, at the end it leads me to three dimensional work.

Katharina Mörth, “Leuchtkokon”, steel sheet 3mm, LED, 40x30x35 cm.

Light plays an important role in both your sculptures and photography, right?

Yes, for me, light gives in my works another (4) dimension. With light and shadows they are connected to time and get a different presence in the environment.

You were studio assistant to the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm in 2013. What was the experience like, what effect did it have on your art? 

It showed me how important it is for me to express art and gave me the strength to realize that I have to put my knowledge and creativity in my personal work.

Lastly can we learn about your future plans? Do you have exhibition project in the near future? 

From now until October I have a strict timetable and several exhibitions running, mostly in Switzerland. I am happy about that it seems life become more normal again, but I am also looking forward to wintertime again, where I hopefully will have the time to focus quietly on new projects and works.

Katharina Mörth.

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