In 2019 Kara interned at the Chapman Cultural Center in their Creative Placemaking Studio creating two interactive exhibits: a solo exhibition, “Art For the Community” in the Richardson Center of the Arts Corridor Gallery and a community-wide poster exhibition that was featured throughout downtown Spartanburg area. Kara was commissioned to create a collaborative sculpture for Spartanburg Conservatory’s (SPACE) 5-Gallon Challenge event. Kara will be attending Clemson Graduate School to pursue a MFA in Digital Production Arts in the fall of 2020.
Kara Porter is currently a senior Studio Art and Computer Science double major at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina , from Holly Springs, North Carolina. She creates drawings, paintings, and digital-based imagery with much her work being inspired by societal issues and cultural observations. More recent topics include: gender studies, body image, and femininity. Kara was invited to speak about her work at the 2020 Gender Studies Conference in Spartanburg. Her work has been featured in the 2018 and 2020 Juried Student Art Exhibitions with the Wofford College Art and Art History Department. Kara’s more recent works “The Desperate Woman” and “Gooey” were selected to be featured in the 8th Annual Collegiate Invitational Art Exhibition.
Impressions is a self-portrait series, each portraying a close-up of the imprint left by manufactured food items pressed against my skin. The series began from an unshakable feeling that I wanted to share my own unspoken perspective. I wanted to highlight the experience of body disassociation and how it is not openly discussed by women within my community. Visually, I am focusing on how the absence of something can leave an impact on the body. Using food as a printing (imprinting) material, I reveal the indents left after pressing the objects onto my skin. Through this process I’m subtly referencing the passing presence of food, intending to mirror the feelings created during the act of consumption.
In Impressions, I chose each food item from a personal experiences. Although the items I used were ones with which I have a personal relationship, I wanted each person to identify with the image in their own way. In order to achieve this, I made the decision to leave any context of these items out of the description when showing them.
I have also constructed a video as a part of the series, containing videos of other women in my age group who have suffered from a restrictive eating disorder. This video is meant to elicit the repulsive feelings and constant thoughts about eating and body image that someone who struggles with this disorder has.