Catherine Haggarty Crafts a “Collaboration” Spanning Space, Time, and Life

Surface Mag | June 6, 2024

By Jenna Adrian-Diaz

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The New York City-based artist’s collection of works on paper, which will be shown along with an artist talk on July 20 for Upstate Art Weekend, closely examine the connections that spawn from craftsmanship.

Here, we ask an artist about the essential details behind a recent work.

Bio: Catherine Haggarty, 40, Brooklyn

Title of work: Afterlife, 2024.

Where to see it: My solo show, “Just Drawing,” at Geary Contemporary (34 Main Street, Millerton, NY), from June 8–July 28.

Three words to describe this work: Dedication, love, honoring.

What was on your mind at the time: Paying attention to wood grain has helped me honor the handmade and those who’ve passed on through using craftsmanship as both a process and subject. The wood floor, which also grounds us, acts as a surface and a location. Most of my work is collaged from various sources. I find this to be an appropriate way to generate paintings and drawings because life always holds multiple truths simultaneously.

I found a cross in making this work which all began thinking about losing my father in 2022. Using the gems he used to carve in his wood work is a connection to his life. Art making is often a collaboration—this is mine.

An interesting feature that’s not immediately noticeable: I’m not very interested in naming the features of a work. I prefer people to look for themselves.

How the work reflects your practice as a whole: It comes from the gut, not the brain. That’s how I approach my work in the studio.

One song that captures the work’s essence: “Float On” by Mark Kozelek.