Name: Caitlin Peck
Hometown: Lewistown, PA
Current town: Upper Darby, PA
Bio: I was born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, first Lewistown and then I went to high school in Lewisburg, PA. I completed my undergrad at Pennsylvania State University with a BFA in Drawing and Painting in ’10. In the summer of ’11, I started my MFA in Studio Arts at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. I will be graduating this August.
Upcoming projects: Currently, I’m working on a fabric sculpture of my childhood home. It’s the largest sculpture I have made so far, over 6 feet in each direction. I’m projecting to having this completed by May. I also have some installation/performance ideas in the works.
What themes and concepts does your work generally revolve around?
I consider issues of memory and its fragility in my work. I use concepts of persons or memories lost to discover what I remember, or perhaps, think I remember of certain people, places, my childhood, or even ideas.
What materials do you work with?
I use many materials in my work (drawings, paintings, sculpture, installations, performance, and video), but the materials I find to be most essential are the fabric and embroidery because they speak to my history. I come from a town of quilt-makers and crafters and learned to sew at a young age from my grandmother and mother.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
I always, always, always have to have some type of tea or coffee in my hand when thinking about my work. Even if I don’t drink it, I think just the smell puts my brain into focus-mode.
What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you?
I have been looking into several places for a new installation/performance and preparing to complete my MFA program at Moore College of Art & Design in August this year with a written thesis and exhibition. After that, the rest is a new adventure!
I was just recently published in the March issue of CRED Magazine. It is an arts publication for artists in Philadelphia at the age of 25 and younger.
Is any of your work political?
I don’t think it is political in the sense of states or jurisdiction, but it definitely concerns family politics. I am working with questions of what happens when the family loses the patriarch. And when he is gone, what do we remember? The legacy, if you will.
What are you reading?
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?
Having enough time to complete work! Especially when using techniques such as hand-stitching and pattern-making, but I feel that those techniques are essential to the work, the meditation on memories, and the relation to my personal history or background. But you only get so many hours in the day!
How has the meaning of your work changed over time?
I suppose just after I lost my father, the work was very sad and more therapeutic for me. But now, I am questioning broader ideas in more specific sections. I no longer feel the need to be vague in my work.
Favorite artists and why/ people in your field whom you most admire:
Wow. There are so many! These are the people I have been looking at as of late:
Grayson Perry: His alter-ego “Claire” and his beautiful tapestry work.
Tracey Emin: Her willingness to showcase the nitty-gritty of her history in her installation. I also like her embroidery work as well.
Georgina Starr: Her performances and concept-based art. Especially, Erik.
Esperanza Cortes and Carlos Rolon: Their work is very different, but they both operate on levels of their work about where they come from and exaggerating issues or themes the are connected to those places.
Recently viewed exhibitions?
The Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea and the Philip Guston Show in Manhattan.