The Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park opens for the season on Saturday, May 25, 2024

Claire Watkins

Artist Statement
The digestive system turns food into eyelashes. I am in awe of the minutiae and delicate actions that make up everyday life. The machines I build reflect this awe and wonder. My work is intimate, curious and mesmerizing in its gestures. The translation of energy is both a functional and conceptual part of my work. The circular motion of a motor is translated into a gesture that turns peacock feathers into entomological creatures. With movement, I make machines that become creatures.

I am fascinated by systems found within the body and the parallel structures located outside of it; the human brain and circuit boards, nerve systems and trees. How is the brain a computer and how is it an electrical storm? The affects of electricity are curious. Neurons fire in your head with the memories of your life. Your toast gets burned. Electricity has a visual presence in my work, traveling through motors, lights, wires microcontrollers and drawings that are circuit boards. I want to expose the invisibility of electricity, a physical reminder of its presence.

  • Exhibition

  • July 11 - August 16, 2009

  • 2008 Saint-Gaudens Fellow

  • Program