Artist's Website: http://www.kristinapenhoet.com
By seeking perfection, but finding true beauty only in the imperfections caused by chance, nature, and human interaction, Kristina is fascinated by the challenging positive and negative experiences and emotions that make up the depth and breadth of human experience. In her work, she has considered seemingly negative events such as abandonment, betrayal, disconnection, judgement, misrepresentation, and loss and the accompanying feelings of fear, sadness, revulsion, and anger, choosing to express them in abstract sculptural forms. More recently, she has been experimenting with ideas of forgiveness and understanding, eliciting feelings of calmness and relief.
Her biomorphic forms are inspired by the human body (and other living organisms) to connect the viewer to the work and invoke an emotional response. The repetition of forms common in much of her work is intended to enhance the emotional response of the viewer while reminding them of the universality of their experiences. She wants to challenge viewers to be curious, seeking understanding and, perhaps, even beauty, in the moments that make us human and lead us to profound empathy for one another.
Kristina employs traditional and modern felt-making with the incorporation of other materials (manufactured textiles, thread, glass, metal, and plastic) in the creation of most of her work. Her choice of medium reinforces her themes and the tactile (and, sometimes, visceral) qualities of her work. Although much of her artwork is intended to be wall-hung, the pieces are intentionally unframed. The nature of her work does not lend itself to the creation of a finite boundary. Each piece becomes part of its environment, inviting the viewer into the experience.
Originally from Oregon, Kristina began working with fiber and textiles as a small child, learning to crochet and sew during her summer visits to her grandparent’s farm on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. She continued to pursue her love of making during quiet moments while earning a degree in biology and working in healthcare. Kristina attended Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, concentrating on sculpture and environmental design, and received her graduate degree in architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. She worked in film production, stage design and architecture prior to rediscovering fiber as a medium. She currently lives in Washington, DC with her family and two naughty dogs.