Carey Watters, “Explorer #1”

Complete view of work

Detail #1

Detail #2

Detail #3


Carey Watters (Milwaukee, WI)

Explorer #1
deconstructed books, collage, marbled, and cut paper
48″ x 24″ x 4″

I am a collector of the past, an alchemist and artisan of contemporary craft. In my work, I meticulously cut, fold, sew and adhere many small parts and recontextualize my collected content to create new narratives. The manipulation of materials is at the core of my craft. Each piece that I create is laborious and obsessive, but created out of materials with ephemeral qualities. The intent of my art is to encourage viewers to look at the work with a sense of curiosity and wonderment. My current body of work is a direct result of my residencies and travels to Calabria, Basilicata, and Puglia, Italy and my research of Byzantine architecture, design, and religious reliquaries. Paper Reliquaries transform simple documentation of everyday life into a marriage of the mundane and sacred.

As a paper and book artist, I explore the intersections between traditional techniques and contemporary aesthetic concepts. My current book and collage work weave together concepts regarding memory, historic map making and religious and pagan symbolism, and the theme of the reliquary as a container of cultural and personal artifacts. I have never been satisfied with working in one medium. I am inspired by objects and materials and I let that inspiration affect the choices I make in both my art and design.