Katie Shapiro: The Great Divide
Katie Shapiro’s reconsidered landscapes were the highlight of photo LA. Large, colorful, and unique, her photographs stood apart from all that surrounded it. Her project, The Great Divide, is a continuation of her exploration and mapping of the West, in this case, the “Sacred Sites of the Rockies” as she follows the path of a 1980’s spiritual seeker. Work from The Great Divide will be included in a group show at Ms. Barbers in Los Angeles, opening May 28th and running through June 25th.
Katie was born in Los Angeles (1983) where she currently lives and works. She received her MFA from UC Irvine and her BFA from CalArts. Her work has been shown at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, The Woodstock Center for Photography in New York, Gallery 295 in Vancouver, LTD in Los Angeles, and the Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work is housed in private collections as well as at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
The Great Divide
My interest in sacred spaces and their draw led me to Banff, in Alberta Canada for my current project, The Great Divide. Situated among the Canadian Rockies, Banff lies on the continental divide and contains a strong energy. Even the first nations people, or aboriginals of Canada decided they would not settle in the area because of the energy’s strength.
In the late 1980’s, a woman known as Star visited several locations in and around Banff on a vision quest. During the 1980s & ’90s, Star writes that she was guided to the Sacred Sites of the Rockies, and was prompted to share her revelations in the form of a website. I discovered Star’s quest during an online search and decided to follow in her path. I visited all the places she was led to in her quest and made photographs in each location. Sites included; Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Lake O’Hara, Michael Peak, Athabasca Glacier, Mt. Assiniboine, Lake Oesa, and a Labyrinth in the Blaeberry Valley built by Star herself. At my visit to the Labyrinth, I met with Star herself and spent time interviewing and talking with her.
Using photography and collage, my work is based on the site visits. The photographs, collaged with color gels and sheer fabrics, serve as a filter to view the documented landscapes. Through my own interpretation they mimic the energetic dimension that is present in the locations alluding to that which cannot be seen
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