Gourds are the perfect medium for incorporating all aspects of my creativity and my love of Earth. The fact that I grow them and see them through every stage of their life into the final process of drying, cleaning and deciding what to make them into, only increases the fulfillment of working with them.
Kim Grall is an artist working in a diverse array of mediums and techniques, including paper, fiber, leather, photography, printmaking, and pyrography. Grall’s current work uses gourds as both a sculptural object and as a substrate for the artist’s toolbox of materials. The gourds Grall uses are grown by the artist, seen through their entire life cycle intentioned to become art. Through this intimacy with her material Grall finds the inspiration, process, and concept for her work. The artist sees inspiration from nature in her subjects of the garden lifecycle, using pigmented paper to design and paint both the interiors and exteriors of her work. The artist’s process finds comparisons with the making of sacred and ceremonial objects in the growing and drying methods used to produce the gourds, techniques of scarring and burning on their surfaces, and the use of vines, beads, feathers and fiber. Grall’s work presents the concepts of utilitarian objects, made to be sacred objects, and treated as painted sculpture.