Sara Hagerty/New View exhibition catalog/2011 / by Kathleen Hawkes

Kathleen Hawkes experiments with the presentation of different table settings and utilizes various environments for her table scapes to question the role of domestic routine within tradition and as symbolic of order over uncertainty and chance. In Red, the suffocating and consuming presence of paint fills and surrounds the objects on the table, weighing them down in their set positions. The shadows of the table settings in Silhouette show only a blurred vision or order in the tableware clouded further by the floral pattern of the tablecloth. In Beach, the place settings are physically taken from their positions by the receding tide-disrupting their placement and emitting a feeling of chaos. The structure and ordering of the table settings can be compared to the life choices and set traditions we often feel socially inclined to follow The photographs serve to question this process as they reveal the possibilities of maintaining tradition, venturing in to the unknown, or choosing to let things fall as they may. With the tableware suffocated in paint or obscured by cloth, the viewer can imagine a similar feeling of being submerged and overwhelmed, unsure about one’s own life choices. When the table setting is subjected to the power of rushing and receding tide, the chance for disruption and the possibilities of where the shifting items could end up reveal the possibility of uncertainty. Hawkes entices the viewer through her use of domestic routine of table settings but simultaneously forces one to question the environment and routine in to which they are embedded.