Kaitlin Whittle

This work is inspired by German artist, Kaethe Kollwitz. She confronted the atrocities that took place around her and responded with personal, figurative imagery. Kollwitz lost a son in the first World War and a grandson in the second. These experiences inevitably tied her to the brutality which plagued her world. In high school, I saw my mother lose my brother and in Kollwitz's work, there is an explanation of the grief and militancy of mothers that connects me to her. In a different medium, I reflect on the ways I see women protecting children not always from literal warfare, but from the world of men. Many women notice the neglect children experience from men and often do their best to shield them from it. These women frequently have to break their own moral code in a desperate attempt to control the damage. Within this is the destruction that the damage-control has on their very own bodies. A woman carries not only her burdens, the burdens of the men and children in her life, but also her own mother's burdens.

This transferred pain is wrapped in survival. Often, there is a strength the oppressed develop due to a kind of evolution--under the weight of inherited suffering. Kaethe Kollwitz was a woman depicting herself as she felt and knew herself to be, burdened but powerful. She calls us to tell our own stories by confronting and creating.

Kaitlin Whittle is an artist from the southeast working primarily in graphite, oil paint, and clay. Having grown up in the deep south and raised in the southern baptist church, Whittle is moved to confront the sexism girls and women face while personally but publicly exposing her own discriminatory tendencies which she attributes to white patriarchy. She hopes to honor women and minorities while making connections about the oppression she feels, sees, and participates in. Kaitlin studied art at Georgia Southwestern in Americus, Georgia and now lives and works in small-town West Alabama. When she is not making art, she is teaching English to some of her neighbor friends, encouraging people to draw, paint, and sculpt, or digging local clay for her own work.