At first glance, its easy to mistake artist Kate Kato’s works for the real thing. The Bristol-born artist of Kasasagi Design masterfully transforms recycled materials into life-like sculptures that capture the intricacies and beauty of plants, insects, and other found objects in nature. Each of her works, no matter how small, is an amazing undertaking of mixed media and art techniques, from wirework to carving.
Inspired by a love of nature, Kato attributes her beginnings in art and the name of her design studio, Kasasagi, a Japanese word that figuratively refers to a person who obsessively collects things, to the time she spent as a child collecting random bits and pieces during her walks through the countryside. The artist works mainly with paper that she cuts out and carves from the books and magazines she collects, and she combines the medium with wire, thread, and fabric. From a distance, Kato’s artworks look startlingly lifelike, especially when presented in specimen boxes, but the truth unravels when a closer look reveals printed lettering or loose threads.
“I like to use materials in a way that provokes this curiosity in the viewer too by leaving sections of the original object visible in the new sculpture,” writes Kato. “I want the sculptures to look real and not real at the same time inviting the viewer to consider details they may normally over look and stimulate curiosity for the made item and the real thing.” Kato hopes to encourage curiosity about nature and a greater awareness of the environment and our role in the ecosystem.