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Emerging Visions: Katherine Wagner

Dreams Brought to Daylight


I am a daydreamer. I am a visionary. I have always loved the mythical wonders that exist within the human mind, finding beauty and originality within the imaginary.

As a child, I delved into the literary world of fantasy, reading into the late nights and lulling off into dreams of creatures born from the pages of many impressionable tales. Many were friendly and wandered with me into the waking day, while some were more solitary than others, making acquaintance for but a single night without any mind of being forgotten by the next. For years, these fantastical beings have manifested and laid dormant in rest behind my unaging eyes. I wanted to let them exist outside of my head space, but each one was too ineffable for conscious words alone, and, at the time, too obscure to capture on mere paper, so they stayed with me and continued to sleep throughout my adolescence.

At Durham College, I was introduced to Sculpey clay during the end of my first year, and I fell in love with the practice of the medium. As I continued to explore and develop my hand at sculpture, my creatures from childhood began to stir from old memories and played around in my thoughts, as lively as ever. Through my hands I molded their shapes, their likeness, their energy and emotion, and for the first time since their initial dreams, witnessed them physically in front of my eyes, within reality. I could hold them, run my fingers over them, feel their existence outside of my head and share them with the world. Every piece I create feels like I’m creating a life that exists because I exist, and nothing compares to the immense joy and satisfaction that comes from that.

My body of work surrounds the recreations of childhood fairy tales and personal reinterpretations in the form of sculpture, each having their own visual story to tell of my personal Dreams Brought to Daylight.