Impressions of Lost Life

Sculpture: Impressions of Lost Life

Photo of Impressions of Lost LifeClose up photo of Impressions of Lost Life

Artist: Kathleen Gilrain

Kathleen GilrainKathleen Gilrain currently serves as the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Smack Mellon Studios in Brooklyn, NY. She has curated exhibitions for galleries, institutions and organizations including Smack Mellon, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus outdoor public art program.

Ms. Gilrain is an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College, where she has taught in the sculpture department since 1998. She has been a visiting lecturer at The Cooper Union in NYC, The Metropolitan State College in Denver and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ms. Gilrain has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Marymount College, NYC.

Kathleen Gilrain is an artist who has had several one-person exhibitions and has been included in many group exhibitions. She has created site-specific public sculptures for: Savannah, GA; the City of Ulsan, South Korea; the South Carolina Botanical Garden, SC; the City of Chicago, IL; The Fields Sculpture Park in Ghent, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City; the City of Providence, RI; the Connemara Conservancy in Dallas, TX; Klenova Castle in Klenova, Czech Republic; and Cergy Pontoise, France.

Ms. Gilrain holds a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from The University Massachusetts, Amherst. She holds a NY State certificate in Art Education, to teach in the NY State public school system. She also studied at New York University’s Graduate Program in Venice, Italy in 1989, and participated in an exchange program in 1982 at Bath Academy of Art in Bath, England.

Artist's Statement

Kathleen Gilrain, 2000

"Casts of pregnant bellies line the bottom of a creek. Impressions of life - portraits. There are over four hundred of them made from the earth - red clay, white quartz, yellow river sand and iron oxide. They create a mosaic of color from white to red to deep, rich brown. They look like river stones with shallow navels. The water flows over them, washing, cleansing, smoothing their surface. Sunlight reflects through the running water creating dancing patterns of light and color on the "swollen stones." Time passes. Memories remain. It is a response to miscarriage, wanted pregnancies, unwanted loss.

A split hickory tree found blown over near the site creates a bridge to a medicinal garden. The plants in the garden are all native to the area and were used by Native Americans. These plants are still used by contemporary herbalists to strengthen the uterus, prepare for pregnancy, promote a healthy pregnancy, prevent miscarriage, aid in delivery and in healing after delivery.

The plants that make up the medicinal garden are: Mitchella repens, Viburnum prunifolium, Viburnum opulus, Eupatorium pupureum, Chamaelirium luteum, Plantago lanceolata, Alchemilla mollis, Rubus idaeus, Dichromena colorata, Hypericum perforatum, Xanthorihiza simplicissima."

Installation 2000

Artist installing parts of Impressions of Lost Life

Students move a hickory tree to create a bridge

Current Condition: December 2013

Rain events prior to and during this past summer have destroyed this sculpture.