Kate Hawkins

Branching Out

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The following is an excerpt from a letter that Kate Hawkins wrote to V. Jane Gordon on April 4, 2000. In it, Kate tries to explain to Jane what she thought her installation for this exhibit would be about:

The project that interests me these days stems from the suspicion that all things are one. (I know that many people believe this, but, if I am truthful, I can only claim to suspect it.) More specifically, I suspect that all living things share a quality of materiality and that they are capable of teaching and learning the lessons of embodiment from each other.
I feel that I have much to learn from trees, Handily, there is a grove of them nearby to which I am particularly drawn. They initially attracted me because their dimensions are not vastly different from mine and because they remind me of the yogic body in its most balanced and expansive state. These trees are also of an age with me since they were planted in 1959. (I arrived on the planet in 1953.)
As the trees age, they appear to form a hollow at their core, and it is this hollow that most fascinates me. It strikes me as a manifestation of a principle that my own body has begun to absorb through the practice of Kundalini yoga.
I propose to study these trees in as profound a way as I can imagine - meditating and practising yoga in their presence, making and drinking essences made from their blossoms, touching them body to body. I want to experience, as closely as I can - if I can, the embodied existence of these trees. I propose to make art that records my experience, whatever it may be.

Click to read about what actually happened to Kate when she went into the woods.