Kirsten Baskett is fascinated by the imprint or ‘emotional charge’ which prolonged and close human interaction seems to leave on an object.
We generally see this simply as patina or wear so, through multiple processes, Baskett strives to tease it out; separate it from the object itself and distil it. Only then, she believes, can it be preserved for closer study.
Baskett begins by constructing paper sculptures of the object using materials which themselves have had a close human interaction and hopefully carry something of that ‘emotional charge’. These can include closely scrutinised engineer’s drawings or dress patterns, a writers well-thumbed draft carrying all their notes in the margins or even a lovingly curated child’s stamp collection. Highly personal items like letters or photographs can also be a source of ‘ready charged’ raw material.
Once completed, the paper sculptures are very fragile and delicate structures so she casts them in clear resin. This freezes them, suspended and floating; rather like museum exhibits or preserved scientific specimens ready for closer study.
These are then photographed and digitally manipulated before outputting to film. This enables her to expose a light-sensitive etching plate (photo-etching) to create an intaglio print on extremely fine, hand-made Japanese paper.
The final etching is also very delicate and fragile so, as the final step, she encase and preserve the etching in clear resin so that the print, like her sculptures, becomes frozen in time and permanently available to view.