Artist in Residence


Monotropa Uniflora - The Ghost Flower does not contain chlorophyll. Energy is taken by the roots from photosynthetic trees and decaying material on the dark forest floor. The plant turns pink as it matures and black when severed from roots. ▫️ I hiked down a section of a trail that was closed off by a beaver pond. Right before the pond, the trail widened out between dozens of these Ghost Flowers growing under many different types of trees. I chose this location to suspend an elongated and skewed, pentagon-shaped, fabric panel. When I paint in the middle of complex and mysterious ecosystems, features like barren rocks or previously trampled ground are necessary to stand on so that the consequences of my presence are minimized. (all photographs by Katie - pictured above: Canopy/Pond)

Katie M. Westmoreland participated in the Gateway to Wilderness Artist in Residence Program throughout the spring and summer of 2017 in the form of a handful of mini-residencies. During her third visit she continued to explore sites, specimens and concepts and create and share new work (Canopy/Pond, Sunburned Trapezoid) and ideas. She was also able to catch-up on the status of an outdoor apparatus which was installed during her previous residency - Visiting Landscapes (see below). Katie Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. To see more of her work visit

Monotropa Uniflora

Sunburned Trapezoid

Visiting Landscapes 

With the support of Otto's Abode, two waxed cotton panels, titled Visiting Landscape (Small) and Visiting Landscape (Large,)  are installed in a variety of locations around Wanakena, and in the surrounding wilderness.  Each panel is an apparatus - an image generation plane for teasing out layers of action.  

The apparatuses are made of beeswax, unbleached cotton fabric, and paracord.  Beeswax has a high melting point.  It will not run or drip on a hot summer day, but it will gently respond to temperature and weather.  Unbleached cotton is biodegradable, capable of movement, flexible, and neutral in color.  Paracord runs through seams along the top and bottom, and is tied around trees.  

The shapes cut from the waxed cotton are distilled from a painting made under an oak tree canopy in Cold Spring, NY.  Many rounds of tracing, resizing and rearranging happened between the painting and the apparatuses.  On the large panel, the arrangement and cutting of the shapes was done collaboratively, on The Green in Wanakena.

In direct sunlight, the waxed cotton is transparent and luminescent.  In shade, the fabric is opaque and grey. Shadows of foliage land upon the panel, sunlight light sifts through, and falls onto the surrounding landscape.  Branches reach through the holes and push against the waxed cotton.  The landscape is visible in front of the apparatus and behind through the cut shapes.  

As the panels are moved around Wanakena and the wilderness, one landscape meets another, and another, and another.  Light sifts through light.  Shapes land on shapes.  The waxed cotton weathers.  Actions layer.  This is a work in progress, with the landscape and the community.