The winner of the Kata Exposed Challenge, Stewart Donn faced serious competition and voting was very close. The judges agreed however that Donn’s creative interpretation of the juxtaposition between the industrial and the beautiful was outstanding.
Humanity is fundamental.
Donn uses the elements of industrial landscapes to produce abstract patterns, with crisscrossing poles and clusters of vascular pipes with an H.R.Giger-ish aesthetic. Sometimes he uses the soothing repetition of elements such as stacked oil drums and piping to create unexpectedly tranquil patterns within a starkly industrial landscape. Other times his studies sensitively portray the haunting patinas of wear left behind in abandoned factories by generations of workers.
It is the humanity, or the remembrance of this humanity that appeals to him. “They’re signs of human life,” he says. “They show what people are capable of. It strikes you when you see them that somebody made this.”
The unanticipated beauty in this humanity is fundamental to the body of work Donn is building, and communicating that beauty is his aim. “I think some people will always see industrial as simply that; industrial,” he says. “It’s hard to see the beauty in the industrial but it is quite clearly there. There might be just one angle that shows that beauty but you find it, you show it, and it’s undeniable.”